A Report on Research into Glycyrrhiza (Gan Cao), Paeonia (Bai Shao) and Rehmannia (Di Huang)
Richard Blackwell and Sue Sutton EJOM Vol. 2 No. 1
Against a background of reports of hepato-toxicity from the use of certain herbal prescriptions, Blackwell and Sutton examine the research material on the herbs which most commonly appear in the reported prescriptions. They conclude that the evidence on gan cao, bai shao and di huang does not suggest that they are directly hepato-toxic.
An Audit of Case Studies of Low Back Pain: A Feasibility Study for a Controlled Trial
Mike Fitter and Hugh MacPherson EJOM Vol. 1 No. 5
Mike Fitter, research director of the Foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Hugh MacPherson, co-founder and principal of the Northern College of Acupuncture who helped set up the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre in York report on the first stage of a feasibility study to evaluate the effectiveness of an acupuncture service in the treatment of people with low back pain, comparing the overall 'cost effectiveness' with an orthodox service available through National Health Service GPs. The research method is outlined and four case histories are cited.
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.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) - A Japanese Perspective: Some Conclusions from a Pilot Study
Gretchen De Soriano EJOM Vol. 1 No. 4
A short retrospective pilot study shows that ME follows the pattern described in the Shang Han Lun, a traditional Chinese medical text. The Shang Han Lun describes the symptom patterns and treatment for acute diseases using diagnostic techniques based on the six divisions, while its sequel, the Jin Gui Yao Lue, describes those for chronic disease using diagnostic techniques based on the three substances.The article suggests that significant understanding towards relief from the suffering of ME can be achieved using these Kanpo diagnostic techniques which are explained using modern Japanese commentaries on the original text.
The second of two articles exploring some of the methodological problems surrounding scientific research into acupuncture. The first article (published in EJOM Vol 1, No 2) dealt with developing an appropriate control for acupuncture treatment in experimental designs. This article describes some alternatives to controlled trials.
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.
Richard Blackwell and Mike Fitter EJOM Vol. 1 No. 2
Analysis of the results of a Council for Acupuncture survey in the UK. The aims of the survey were to identify the extent to which acupuncturists were interested in undertaking research and development activities, to identify reasons for engaging in research, and to assess the need for specific research skills.
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.
In this, the first of two articles, the author begins by describing how clinical trials, including double blind trials, operate. She examines the purpose of trials before focusing critically on various types of placebo acupuncture. She discusses the difficulties of 'standard treatments' in clinical trials of acupuncture, as opposed to the individualised treatments used in holistic practice.
Based on the optimistic premise that orthodox medicine is becoming more holistic, the author argues that this is the time to instigate research into acupuncture. After discussing the overall aims of research, he outlines various research methods and the environments in which they can be carried out. He details clinical trials, comparative studies and clinical audits.
Discussion of the nature of meridians is followed by the results of the author's research into the coincidence of various linear rashes in conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and the pathways of the channels.
A Descriptive Outcome Study of 291 Acupuncture Patients
Russ Chapman, Rosemary Norton and Dr Charlotte Paterson EJOM Vol. 3 No. 5
This article describes prospective and descriptive study of acupuncture patients' outcomes. It involved 13 acupuncture practices in South-west England, of which 12 were private practices and 1 was an NHS pain clinic. Over a year 291 patients were recruited to record their symptoms using the ‘Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile’ questionnaire. This was completed at the first and third visits, and by post 4 months after the first visit. There are extensive graphics illustrating the results.