Taking Charge – Examining the Need to Take Ownership of Our Profession
Taking Charge – Examining the Need to Take Ownership of Our Profession Stephen Birch
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 4 (2016)
Traditional East Asian Medicine, especially acupuncture and all its related approaches, seems to be constantly under pressure and threat from various sources. This article raises topics that currently pose threats to our profession and what kinds of actions will probably be needed to try to counter them. These threats to our profession are both external and internal. External threats come from groups that want to rid or sideline the profession, groups that want to dictate to us what we do and how to do it, and groups that want to usurp its methods or take ownership of it. Internal threats come from inconsistencies within the field, from being poorly informed about academic debate and knowledge of the profession, and the associated paucity of efforts made to identify and solve the academic and scientific problems we face.
Talking the Same Language: A Systemic Esperanto for a Global Chinese Medicine
Talking the Same Language: A Systemic Esperanto for a Global Chinese Medicine Yan Schroën
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 4 (2016)
Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, is becoming increasingly accepted in Western society. Within the field of complementary medicine, acupuncture is now one of the most consulted therapies, leading to an increasing economic interest in Chinese medicine. Governments and health insurers want to engage with complementary medicine, and so with Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and Chinese medical associations look to health insurance companies and governments for recognition and compensation for their members. But do these governments and health insurance companies have the knowledge and expertise necessary to develop guidelines and rules? In our profession's search for legitimacy and authenticity we oscillate between validating what we do by referencing either modern research or the ‘classics’.
A New Career Pathway: A view from Switzerland of a Federally Licensed 'Naturheilpraktiker' specialis
Carla Fuhlrott-Capello EJOM Vol. 8 No. 1 (2015) Alternative medicine is actively used in Switzerland and, with over 2,500 practitioners (practising TCM, Ayurveda, traditional European naturopathy (TEN) and homeopathy methods), enjoys significant popularity and favour among the Swiss population. Despite qualitatively high training standards and well-supervised continuing education, the alternative medical practitioner profession is not regulated. In the last 15 years, the professional associations of the aforementioned specialisations have been jointly advocating for alternative medical practitioners to have their own career pathway, and now we are about to reach that goal.
The Challenges of Integrating Acupuncture into the UK's National Healthcare System
Joni Renee Zalk EJOM Vol. 8 No. 1 (2015) This article examines the major challenges of integrating acupuncture into allopathic medicine in the United Kingdom. Over the past thirty years there has been a dramatic increase of research in the area of acupuncture, with increasing evidence of acupuncture efficacy and cost effectiveness. This article critically examines the reasons acupuncture has not yet been regularly made available for the citizens of the United Kingdom (UK).
For integration to occur: 1) The government would have to stop utilising most of its resources for allopathic medicine while disregarding acupuncture as a viable healthcare option. 2) Implement a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) curriculum into medical schools where learning and beliefs are more malleable; additionally, education for acupuncturists must standardise and practitioners must be regulated. 3) The pharmaceutical industry should not be able to exert as much influence over the national healthcare system as it does, which by nature suppresses the alternative medicine community.
If the UK utilises what is becoming more scientifically proven to be an excellent resource in healthcare, then it could potentially provide better and more diverse healthcare services.
George Lewith and Andrew Flower EJOM Vol. 7 No. 6 (2014) There is a pressing need for us to engage with the broader European context to ensure our traditional medicines survive and flourish. An essential part of this process is to familiarise ourselves with what is actually happening within the European Union (EU), regarding complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in general, and Oriental medicine (OM) in particular. What constitutes CAM? Who is using it, delivering it, researching it and what are the legislative frameworks that currently govern its practice? It is only by gathering this basic information that we can understand the current status of CAM and OM and start to compose a coherent strategy to inform any future developments.
Yves Giarmon EJOM Vol. 7 No. 6 (2014) On current estimates there are 1,380 MD acupuncturists in France, and 4.000 to 7,000 non-MD practitioners. The author explains how acupuncture arrived and developed in France over the last century, and how the teaching and practice of acupuncture and TCM is now carried out and regulated within the profession, and within the law.
This article is a translation of a speech given by the author at the 2013 Rothenburg Congress in Germany. He suggests that, following the establishment of TCM in the health market, the resulting new orientation and strategic direction for our profession are still in the making. Most of us, however, seem to be unaware that we have to deal with a new political situation and that we have to work on our strategic outlook. Our present political situation is much more complicated and difficult than that of the last 30 years. This is a heartfelt rallying call to TCM practitioners across Europe to stand up for our positions and defend them. Read the whole article
Acupuncture and Physiotherapists - A Personal View
Val Hopwood EJOM Vol. 6 No. 2 (2009)
This article, written by a well-known physiotherapist and acupuncturist, traces the growing adoption of acupuncture by physiotherapists in the UK, dating back to 1982 when it was approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists as an adjunctive skill for pain relief. She outlines the development of the educational frameworks which have enabled this process to the point where there are now nearly 6,000 UK physios who use some form of acupuncture. The tensions between physios and professional acupuncturists which arose during this process are mentioned. She argues, however, that it has been good not just for patients and for the physios themselves, but also, somewhat more controversially, for professional acupuncturists as well, because it has increased the respectability of the therapy and facilitated its inclusion in National Health Service provision.
TCM in Germany - Views from Four Leading Practitioners
Helmut Magel EJOM Vol. 6 No. 2 (2009)
This article – devised, compiled and edited in German by Helmut Magel and then translated and edited by EJOM’s Friedrich Staebler – presents the views of four of Germany’s leading TCM practitioners on issues relating to the context and current status of TCM in their country. All four practitioners belong to the AGTCM (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klassische Akupunktur und Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin – Association for Classical Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine), the German equivalent of the British Acupuncture Council. Representatives of the medical acupuncturists who were contacted and invited to express their views chose not to participate.
What is the Scope for Improved Integration of Complementary and Conventional Medicine?
Claire Blanchard, Phil Hanlon and Mhairi Mackenzie EJOM Vol. 5 No. 6
This paper reports on a research project investigating the influences shaping acupuncture practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of twelve acupuncturists based in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Themes discussed by the study population included: an increase in acupuncture usage, difficult but improving relationships between GPs and acupuncture practitioners, a growing acceptance of acupuncture practice within the context of integration with conventional practice with some remaining barriers, and the need for further research into acupuncture efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The study population believed acupuncture to be a way of life and defined health as a state of energy balance, with imbalances leading to ill-health. Emphasis was placed on the importance of a good practitioner-patient relationship and patients’ needs being met for the healing process. Finally, particular weight was given by the study population to the differences that are believed to exist between western and eastern philosophies.
Stephen Birch, Peter Deadman and Felicity Moir EJOM Vol. 4 No. 4
This is an extract of the keynote debate, which took place at the British Acupuncture Council’s Conference in October 2004, which was chaired by Mike O’Farrell, Chief Executive Officer Executive Officer of the BAcC. The three keynote speakers were Stephen Birch who has co-authored seven books on acupuncture and regularly contributes to the debate on the use of scientific methods in the integration of Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) in the West, Peter Deadman who is Publisher and Editor of the Journal of Chinese Medicine and co-authored the major acupuncture textbook a manual of acupuncture, and Felicity Moir who is a Course Leader and Principal Lecturer at the University of Westminster, School of Integrated Health. Questions or comments follow the introductory views of the keynote speakers, together with the responses of the speakers. Read the whole article
Pillow Needles and C Scores as Reflections on Growing an Acupuncturist
Susanna Dowie EJOM Vol. 4 No. 2
This article is the author's exploration of what it means to be an acupuncturist, with reflections on how and why the profession has changed over the last 25 years, and the development of professionalism. The article examines how far an acupuncturist is born and how far they can be grown, with particular reference to the means whereby suitable students can be selected for training. Also considered are the roles of the therapeutic relationship in successful practice and that of continuing professional development in the never-ending journey towards mastery of Chinese medicine Read the whole article
Should the Government Fund Complementary Medicine?
Dianne Stewart EJOM Vol. 3 No. 2
This paper examines various aspects of the value of and the access to CM from the perspective of the patient, the GP and the government regulators.It looks at a long catalogue of questions involving the efficacy of CM, the patient’s choice, cost effectiveness, etc., including 'Does the practitioner have an incentive to give too much treatment when paid per session and too little when salaried, and is there potential for abuse?'Terms like agency problem, consumer choice, equity and externality, commonly used by economists, appear throughout.The paper concludes with the question 'Does the government have a right to save on expenditure, given the fact that the UK spends about half on health compared to countries like Germany?' and argues that an NHS which incorporates CM gives better value for money. Read the whole article
Assessing the Need for Statutory Regulation: Acupuncture into the Millenium
Julie Stone EJOM Vol. 2 No. 6
As the millennium approaches, the acupuncture profession faces the pressing question of whether statutory regulation would be the best route to protect the profession and patients, not just in the present climate, but also in the future. In 1996, when the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) last discussed this issue at its annual conference, the general feeling was that effective voluntary self-registration, principally under the Council's umbrella, was the appropriate form of control at that time. What, if anything, has changed during this period? Certainly, the rush to statutory regulation which some people anticipated in the light of the Osteopaths and Chiropractors Acts has not materialised. Nonetheless, the BAcC has seen a more unified profession develop, and public support for acupuncture, as for complementary therapies as a whole, remains high. Moreover, purchasers continue to express interest in utilising complementary therapies within the NHS, (although funding for such initiatives is scant and has even, in some cases, been withdrawn). Against this backdrop, let us look at the arguments for and against statutory regulation, and see whether acupuncture is now at a point at which statutory regulation is a viable, or even necessary option. Read the whole article
Grasping the Nettle: A Response to Reports of Adverse Events from Acupuncture
Hugh MacPherson and Alison Gould EJOM Vol. 2 No. 5
The authors have drawn from reviews of the literature reports of adverse events, in particular Rampes and James (1995), Norheim (1996), Rosted (1996), Bensoussan and Myers (1996), and Ernst and White (1997) and have ascertained there are four main categories of adverse events: trauma, cross infection, physiological responses such as fainting or allergic reactions, and clinical misjudgement such as inappropriate removal of drug treatment or failure to refer. Based on their research findings, the authors estimate that the risks associated with acupuncture are very small compared to orthodox interventions. This conclusion is supported by a recent report from the USA National Institutes of Health (1997), which states 'one of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted procedures for the same condition.'
Great Talents Ripen Late: Continuing Education in the Acupuncture Profession
Hugh MacPherson EJOM Vol. 1 No. 6
Hugh MacPherson, principal of the Northern College of Acupuncture, York, looks into the issue of continuing education, assessment of standards and competence, and the support of practitioners moving from dependency at colleges to autonomy in practice. He covers the future role of the professional body and the prospect of professional reaccreditation, and stresses the need for involvement of individual practitioners in future planning. Read the whole article
Key Element in a Public Health Network: A Glimpse of Acupuncture in Cuba
Angela Llewellyn EJOM Vol. 5 No. 4
This article describes the integration of acupuncture as an important part of a public health system once dominated by conventional western medicine. Originally a product of economic necessity, this process has helped create a medical system in Cuba that achieves life expectancy and infant mortality levels comparable to those of the US at a fraction of the cost. It also discusses the training and philosophies of practitioners, and gives an overview of a unique and creative health system - one in which acupuncture enjoys high status.
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 is a reprint of the final chapter (Chapter 9) from Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis, recently published by Duke University Press. The book examines the development and transformation of Chinese medicine over recent decades based on extensive fieldwork in Beijing and Shanghai. References within the text are to other chapters in the book, which also discusses at length the key concepts such as 'infrastructure', 'plurality', and 'synthesis' employed in the present text.
The Psychologising of Chinese Healing Practices in the United States
Linda L Barnes EJOM Vol. 3 No. 4
This article explores ways in which Chinese healing practices have undergone acculturation in the United States since the early 1970s. Reacting to what is perceived as biomedicine's focus on the physiological, those who describe themselves as favouring a holistic orientation often use the language of 'energy blockage' to explain illness, whether thought of as 'physical' 'emotional', or 'spiritual'. Acupuncture in particular has been appropriated as one modality with which to 'unblock' such conditions, leading to its being used by some practitioners in conjunction with more psychotherapeutic approaches which include valuing the verbalising of feelings. Some non-Chinese practitioners in the United States, returning to older Chinese texts to develop 'an American acupuncture' are reinserting diagnoses eliminated from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by the People's Republic of China as 'superstition'. The assumption has been that many such diagnostic categories refer to psychologial or spiritual conditions, and therefore may be useful in those American contexts which favour this orientation. Among these categories are those drawn from traditions of demonology in Chinese medicine. What was once a religious category in China turns psychological in the American setting. At the same time, many who use these terms have, since the late 1960s, increasingly conflated the psychological and the religious, the latter being reframed as 'spiritual'. Thus, this indigenisation of Chinese practices is a complex synthesis which can be described as simultaneously medical, psychotherapeutic, and religious. Read the whole article
Creative Interchange: Reflections on 'Medicine as Signification'
Wainwright Churchill EJOM Vol. 3 No. 3
This article reflects on themes presented in Volker Scheid and Dan Bensky’s article ‘Medicine as Signification’ (published in EJOM Vol. 2 No. 6) and the subsequent exchange between these authors and Mike Fitter (in EJOM Vol. 3 No. 2). Wainwright Churchill gives a critical assessment of the three possible approaches to research into Chinese medicine and other complementary and alternative medicines, and their different outcomes. Warning that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) faces effective colonialisation by biomedicine, he contrasts the 'meditative thought' which characterises TCM and which allows for holism and flexibility, with what he calls the ‘calculative thought’ which informs biomedicine and which is essentially reductionist and mechanistic. He argues that Mike Fitter’s proposal for a ‘world medicine’, while making a great deal of sense at the level of the individual, is an unrealisable and even a dangerous ideal in that it inadvertently extends an invitation to biomedicine to increase its dominion by appropriating the diverse medical systems of the world.
The Assessment and Licensing of an Acupuncturist/Herbalist in California and in the UK
Alan Treharne EJOM Vol. 3 No. 3
This article outlines the assessment procedures used in the licensing of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine practitioners in the state of California. Examination is based entierely on multiple-choice papers where the emphasis is on memorisation and analytical deduction. The author argues that this learn-by-rote approach fails to take account of important aspects such as rapport, reflective practice and the ability to think and evaulate for oneself in a creative and informed way. It contrasts unfavourably with the approach taken by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB) which, by focusing its regulatory capacity on overseeing the college delivery of education as a whole, helps maintain the growth and diversity of acupuncture education in the UK, a diversity which reflects that found in the literature of oriental medicine.
Is There a Place for Integrated Medicine in the Western World?
Kwee Swan Hoo EJOM Vol. 3 No. 3
For Western MDs, Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is quite an alien paradigm. Acceptance is subjected to strict scientific rule. For this western scientific rule the 'context of justification' of western medicine is totally commensurable with the 'context of discovery' of western science, but it is not commensurable with the 'context of discovery' of Chinese science, for example with acupuncture (qi-paradigm), acupuncture anaesthesia, the compass and architecture. The 'context of discovery' and the 'context of justification' are the two main contexts in scientific enterprise. Incommensurability in philosophy of science means: two bodies of discourse - whether theories, worldviews, paradigms or what have you - are incommensurable, if the assertions made in one body are unintelligible to those utilising the other. The incommensurability of the two medicines is especially at the conceptual level and not within the empirical level. So Chinese medicine should also undergo testing in the same way as evidence based medicine and try to develop its own scientific base, which will facilitate the integration of Chinese and western medicines. Consideration must be given to any gains or losses resulting from this process. The incommensurability diagnosis and the suggested integration method are discussed.
The author is a former financial and current affairs journalist who is currently training as a homoeopath and completing a dissertation on the Statutory Self-Regulation of Homoeopathy. Having been invited to observe the BAcC's conference which debated SSR, she reflects on the views expressed there and concludes that the process of SSR is not for the practitioner but for the patient. 'And taking care of the consumer/patient is, after all, what acupuncturists and homoeopaths are all about.'
The question of statutory regulation is exercising the minds of many alternative therapists at present. Careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of statutory regulation is needed, including examining the experiences of those who have already achieved regulated status.
In this paper it is argued that a proper balance between self-regulation and public accountability is essential to the development of a modern profession. Traditionally, the ancient professions have been strong on the first but weak on the second of these criteria. The emerging professions of complementary medicine are conducting their own struggles towards legitimacy. Accreditation of the teaching colleges is regarded here as a principal means whereby a profession might move towards self-regulation and public accountability. A review of the acupuncture profession's espousal of accreditation is offered together with some evaluation findings. It is suggested that there may be important discontinuities between the epistemologies of accreditation and holistic medicine. These tensions call for further and radical thought on the destiny of complementary therapies in a positivist world.
Medicine as Signification: Moving Towards Healing Power in the Chinese Medical Tradition
Volker Scheid and Dan Bensky EJOM Vol. 2 No. 6
A question to which we pretend we know the answer (for it is crucial to everything we do), yet which to the best of the authors' knowledge has never been addressed in a satisfactory manner by any proponent of Chinese medicine in the West is the question of what Chinese medicine actually is. In this article the authors provide an idiosyncratic response which, While neither complete nor based on the kind of comprehensive investigation which would indeed be necessary, reflects their current thinking. They believe that this response can act as a stimulus for future research, reflection and debate.
Arnold Desser, Dr Kevin Baker, Nadia Ellis, Roger Newman Turner, and Dr Adrian White EJOM Vol. 2 No. 6
Five practitioners from different backgrounds, including Western medical doctors, an osteopath, a physiotherapist and a university lecturer, express their personal views on this subject. The contributions range from the philosophical to the practical and include views on the effectiveness of acupuncture and its role in health care, and notes on the foibles and idiosyncracies observed in members of the acupuncturist 'species'. Transcribed from the presentations given at the 1998 BAcC Conference.
Gerry Harris and Isobel Cosgrove EJOM Vol. 2 No. 6
This paper explores the need for developing new ways of working between those of us who practise traditional acupuncture and those within the medical profession who practise acupuncture as a technique. Using an example from the professional life of each of the authors to highlight a need for change, recommendations are set out with a view to stimulating discussion of this area by the membership of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC).
Chiropractic has been in existence for over a hundred years, appearing in America at a time when the statutory regulation of medicine was taking effect. Its early history is coloured by encounters with adverse regulatory laws and by internecine squabbles between different sub-groups attempting to secure regulation favourable to themselves. It rapidly spread across the world, where it encountered many different regulatory environments. The experience of chiropractic in these environments is examined. In the UK chiropractors have sought favourable statutory regulation since 1925 when they felt threatened by the promotion of the first Osteopaths Bill. Their experiences as they have pursued this goal are recorded, including an unsuccessful attempt to register as a profession supplementary to medicine. Their greatest hurdle was in securing the unity of the profession when a new wing of the profession appeared in the early 1980s that many refused to recognise as chiropractic. In spite of strong mutual suspicion and distrust, the profession united under a group formed specifically to pursue regulation and secured the Chiropractors Act (1994). The requirements set by government to achieve the Act are examined, as are those that have been subsequently imposed to secure the commencement of the Act.
This article reports on the Second Annual Acupuncture Research Symposium (held in London in March 1997) and shows how we as acupuncturists have moved ahead with our attitude to research. A more focused and coherent out look on on acupuncture research has developed. Participants were encouraged to find that they had common interests and were able to give strong support to approaches to research that upheld the central value of being true to traditional practice. Whilst at the same time understanding an external need for proof exists and and there now also exists a pragmatic desire to be involved in guiding and participating in clinical projects ensuring these studies respect the real practice of acupuncture in this country.
Diversity Amidst Unity? Responses to a Survey of Acupuncture Practitioners
Jennifer Dale EJOM Vol. 2 No. 1
A survey was conducted between April and July 1995 of practitioners belonging to the five separate professional associations meeting as the Council for Acupuncture (just prior to their unification into the British Acupuncture Council) and members of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and the British Academy of Western Acupuncture. The survey provides a broad overview of acupuncture practice in Britain with respect to the type of acupuncture practised (ie. traditional and/or biomedical approaches).
Educational and Professional Developments in Acupuncture in Britain
Professor Mike Saks EJOM Vol. 1 No. 6
Professor Mike Saks gives a concise history of the development of acupuncture in Britain from the seventeenth century and looks at the modern day situation in which he believes that the level of educational and professional development in acupuncture could be pivotal to its future standing.
As a medical anthropologist in China, the author paints a picture of Chinese medicine not necessarily visible from within the international training centres. He explores the changing nature of acupuncture in contemporary China and its relationship to western medical practice in that country. He then compares it with how Chinese medicine is presented in the west, often as a search for a systematic approach. His challenge to attempted integration calls for serious reflection.
The author reflects upon his own professional development and growth as an acupuncturist and how the practice of acupuncture affects not only patients but how the activity also has an influence upon the practitioner.
Complementary Medicine - New Approaches to Good Practice: The BMA Report
Jasmine Uddin EJOM Vol. 1 No. 2
Uddin reviews the report on complementary medicine published by the British Medical Association (BMA) in 1993 and compares it with the ealier report, entitled 'Alternative Therapy', which the BMA produced in 1986. The current report makes a survey of the situation vis a vis non-conventional therapies in the UK as well as looking at how other European nations are tackling the issues.
Orientalism Revisited: Reflections on Scholarship, Research and Professionalism
Volker Scheid EJOM Vol. 1 No. 2
The author explains why he believes that research in Chinese medicine, in the narrow sense of 'research' as it is defined in the orthodox medical establishment, is a process which is likely to lead to Chinese medicine's being subsumed within the orthodox medical framework. He analyses what may happen when one cultural tradition encounters another, and proposes as his ideal for the Western and Chinese medical traditions an encounter where both traditions meet to forge something completely new and different. To facilitate this process, he proposes a model of research more akin to the broader and more deeply questioning research in the social sciences than to the narrower hypothesis testing of the medical establishment.
A clear outline of the legal status of acupuncture in key EC countries, compared with the system in the UK and Eire. The author concludes with a look at the potential for acupuncturists to practise anywhere within the EC in the future, and gives some thoughts on criteria for future legislation.
Medicine as Signification: A Reply to Scheid & Bensky
Mike Fitter EJOM Vol. 3 No. 2
This paper is a reply to an article by Volker Scheid and Dan Bensky entitled 'Medicine as Signification: Moving Towards Healing Power in the Chinese Medical Tradition' which was published in EJOM Vol 2, No 6. While it commends their article as an important contribution to the debate on the history and future of Chinese Medicine, it is critical of the simplification of setting the 'middle way' (Chinese medicine as intention or yi) against stereotypes such as the 'reductionist' biomedical paradigm or the 'romanticist' New Age model. The paper contends that there is good and bad medicine, and that the difference depends not so much on the conceptual foundation of the practice, but more on the practitioner and their relationship to their practice. It suggests that Chinese medicine practitioners could do well with marrying texts from the Neijing with modern day concepts such as the 'therapeutic encounter', the 'spirit of enquiry', 'presentational knowledge' and others, developed through epistemology, modern day psychotherapy and Western philosophy.
Pluralism or Plurality: More Reflections on 'Medicine as Signification'
Volker Scheid and Dan Bensky EJOM Vol. 3 No. 2
This article is a reply to Mike Fitter’s comments (published in EJOM Vol 3, No 2) on the authors' paper entitled 'Medicine as Signification' (published in EJOM Vol 2, No 6). The authors maintain that their original paper is an example of engaging the tradition on its own terms and that we must develop Chinese medicine 'by assimilating other elements into it rather than by assimilating elements from CM into other practices.' They advocate 'an unlimited pluralism of personal and professional syntheses.' Such syntheses, they argue, must be guided by valuing the heritage that has enabled the present practice. This is in contrast to the interests of the modern Chinese state, which, they argue, is fitting CM into the context of their own desired reality, out of which the currently dominant model of TCM seems to have evolved. Their position also contrasts with the trend among Western practitioners, with their almost universal refusal to learn Chinese, that one can possess elements of what the East has to offer, but does not have to engage with it on equal terms.
In this article the author expands on the contribution that she sees mentoring making to the broader subject of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).She sees mentoring as being like Chinese medicine – it exists to promote 'healthy professional life', to prevent a build up of imbalance or disharmony in our practices, to diagnose the early signs of ill health in our work situations, to offer support and encouragement, to grow self esteem, and a sound structure inside of which we can develop our sense of accountability. Mentoring covers issues of confidentiality, boundaries, projection and transference, building support networks, contracts, time and money management, and how to prevent burn out.
The Role of Standardised Textbooks and Learning Acumoxa in Contemporary China
Cinzia Scorzon EJOM Vol. 4 No. 2
This article is an extract from the author's MSc dissertation. It examines the function of standardised Chinese medicine (CM) textbooks in contemporary China. In her thesis, she investigates how standardised textbooks of acupuncture and moxibustion1 were initially written, introduced and used in the TCM universities in contemporary China. The first edition of these textbooks was compiled at the end of the 1950s; since then they have been used as course material in CM universities nationwide in the teaching of undergraduate courses on which written examinations are based. The textbooks are regularly revised and updated and the most recent sixth edition was introduced in the late 1990s. What is the role, however, that these contemporary textbooks play in learning CM?
There is an increasing tendency for professional organisations to adopt a more formalised approach to continuing professional development (CPD) suitable for busy practitioners. This article briefly outlines the accepted educational principles that describe how adults learn and demonstrates how these are put into practice when creating individual portfolios of learning (professional development plans). It also explains and gives examples of how to undertake learning needs assessment exercises in your practice, and how to write learning outcomes to give a flavour of the portfolio based learning approach. Finally, it raises some of the issues that the acupuncture profession needs to address before any system of CPD is adopted.