Articles in this issue touch on how we as practitioners weave our journey between pragmatism and idealism, between the classics and modern research and evidence based medicine. From a discussion of shen-body versus shen-spirit, through the tradition-based but pragmatic treatment of menopause syndrome, Marfan syndrome and sports injuries to the findings of two separate studies looking at how practitioners see what they do, and how they explain it to patients and themselves in terms of both the tradition and modern medicine.
We now have more than 50-60 years of Chinese medicine/ Traditional East Asian Medicine practice in the West behind us, but in what position are we to own the medicine we practise? How do we resist the challenges from China, big Pharma, the medical profession and modern research setting the agenda and parameters of our practice of Chinese medicine for us? How can we capitalise on our own experience of practising Chinese medicine in the West? This issue includes articles contributing to the debate on the future of our profession.
There are currently emerging health crises, such as those of increasing cases of obesity and diabetes, that may yet cripple health service budgets. TCM offers a long-established understanding of the relationship between diet and disease; this issue includes articles exploring various aspects of this, offering possibilities for urgently needed change.
A diverse issue bringing together the integration of western and TCM herbal treatments of lung cancer, the origins and development of ear acupuncture, European Auriculotherapy techniques, the TCM function of the brain, and the use of the Japanese technique Ontake Warm Bamboo.
With articles mapping the uptake and diversity of CAM across Europe, the development and current practice of acupuncture in France and the adoption of an acupuncture-based treatment protocol for post-operative nausea in a Milan hospital, this issue has a European focus. Other articles explore the TCM analysis of female infertility, the differing roles of pharynx and larynx, the role of fascia in the function of the meridians, the huge recent rise in cancer cases and the necessity in research of defining the term 'non-specific'. A rich and diverse issue.
This issue brings together articles which emphasise the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient. Articles focussing on the treatment of children and disturbed adults illustrate that only in the context of an intelligent emotional understanding of themselves, the patient and those around them, can practitioners hope to use their acupuncture skills to the best effect.
The blend of articles published in this 2nd issue of the journal's 20th year illustrates well the range and the depth of material on which EJOM prides itself. The Editorial and Nils von Below's featured article (from his speech at the 2013 Rothenburg Conference) provide penetrating evaluations of the socio-political landscape in which our profession finds itself. Other articles reflect on the outcome measures used in acupuncture research, and on one of Chinese medicine's key concepts: the external pathogen. These articles (derived from a student clinic in the UK and an Australian University respectively) are interspersed with case studies illustrating acupuncture in the management of lymphoedema, the treatment of Bell's Palsy by a trio of Turkish acupuncturists from Ataturk University, the use of moxibustion to support a patient undergoing chemotherapy, and a fascinating account from Italy of shiatsu used in treating autistic patients.
With this issue, the European Journal of Oriental Medicine celebrates its 20th anniversary. In her editorial, Jasmine Uddin (who has served on the Editorial Team since the Journal's inception in 1993) reflects on the fact that the profession which EJOM tries to represent and provide input into has changed in many ways. Gone is the arrogance of youth where Chinese medicine as quasi-religion, the answer to all ills, rode the roller coaster of enthusiasm that new endeavours invariably express. The certainties of a profession trying to stand on its own feet have been replaced by the features of all maturing processes. More reflection, more doubt, more complexity and more sophistication. To mark this occasion, EJOM is proud to present a number of thought-provoking articles conveying both theoretical and clinical perspectives on oriental medicine.
The diseases covered in this issue on Autoimmune Disease are complex and difficult to treat, requiring practitioners from all sides of the spectrum of therapeutic endeavour to think creatively. Chinese medicine has the tools with which to analyse and contextualise the myriad symptoms patients suffer from and it clearly offers benefits, which the medical community should not ignore.
In this issue we present articles examining the theory behind the concept of Blood deficiency, its symptoms and signs, and its treatment with both acupuncture and herbal medicine. Companion articles look at dream work in the treatment room, abdominal acupuncture, the treatment of pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) and research into the role and impact of ear and body acupuncture in the treatment of addiction.
For practitioners treating patients facing a diagnosis of cancer, this issue presents four articles which will hopefully allow for more confidence in offsetting the heart-sink feelings that may accompany such a challenge. Cancer and its treatment with acupuncture and moxibustion is illustrated through case histories and the discussion of clinical approaches to the disease, bringing in both western and TCM understanding. From a herbal medicine perspective, a literature review looks at the thorny issue of interactions between Chinese herbal medicinals and anticancer drugs. The subject of cancer treatment-related lymphoedema is also addressed and acupuncture’s potential role in the management of this condition is highlighted.
The range of articles in this issue point up the potential that Chinese medicine has in the treatment and understanding of mental health issues from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia and how practitioners ‘translate’ and ‘transform’ stress into the categories provided by Chinese medicine. They also, however, illustrate the need for scholarship to unravel how we ‘westernise’ Chinese medicine and how we have to critically question our own culturally acquired definitions in mental health.
Contributors examine research into acupuncture from a variety of perspectives including patient-centred outcomes, placebo controls and sham acupuncture. Taken together, the articles provide an excellent overview of the current dilemmas facing researchers when trying to examine the complex set of practices that comprise traditional East Asian medicine. They also help remind us of the questions we should always ask in relation to research - who is it for, why does it matter and will practice improve as a result, leading to better outcomes for patients?
This issue, prompted by the emergence of the 'swine flu' threat, contains articles which point up the Chinese medical understanding of infectious diseases and highlight the potential for Chinese medicine in their treatment, particularly in preventing further complications and the onset of more chronic conditions. Other contributions include investigations into moxibustion and the immune response (Part 1), archetypes and 5 Element acupuncture, and the supplementation needle technique (Part 2).
Articles in this issue examine aspects of current practice, retrace the paths which led to the present status quo, and unpack some of the conceptual frameworks which underlie Chinese medicine. They are a rich testament to the wonderful work that is being done by both Chinese medicine practitioners and scholars to help us all ask the ‘right’ questions to be able to defend and articulate our ideas more clearly, so that we may travel down routes in the future according to an agenda that the profession sets itself. We need a greater critical awareness of where we fit in the history of medicine and should not be afraid of researching our own practices and theories, as well as looking at what sciences like systems biology can offer us.
The potential contribution which acupuncture and Chinese medicine can make in the boosting fertility is increasingly being recognised. Acupuncture's role as an adjunct to IVF treatment in particular has been much in the news in recent years. Contributors in this issue provide insights into the theoretical framework and the clinical realities of fertility treatment, as well as the emotional and ethical dilemmas associated with it.
This issue describes several practitioner journeys - personal accounts of the route to acupuncture, journeys describing the management of practice, and the conundrums of research. Other articles deal with electro-acupuncture, pulse diagnosis, ways of knowing in acupuncture, and clearing blocks to treatment.
We all have, believe it or not, amazing skin. It is our largest organ, weighing in at around 15% of our body weight, and each square inch contains 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels and over 1,000 nerve endings. It is the first thing others see of us and it is precisely because of this visibility that skin complaints can sometimes be so distressing. It is truly lamentable that the vast majority of the many millions of people in Europe (an estimated 8 million in the UK alone) who suffer from skin complaints are unaware of the potential of Chinese medicine to help them. In this issue, articles on cosmetic acupuncture and a case study on the treatment of psoriasis are accompanied by articles on education, qi gong, the Akabane protocol, and research into the responses to acupuncture of patients attending a college clinic.
This issue kicks off with an article by Mandy Foster, the BAcC's Professional Conduct Officer, addressing problematic aspects of the patient-practitioner relationship and highlighting the professional ethics which should govern behaviour in this context. Safe practice while needling points on the head and neck is discussed by contributors Wen Jiang and Changjing Gong, while other articles focus on acupuncture research, qi gong, pulse taking, acupuncture in Cuba, and the shamanic origins of Chinese medicine.
Contributors address issues relating to women’s health from a number of perspectives, ranging from practitioner’s experiences in the treatment of recurrent miscarriage and infertility, to herbal formulae for PMS, and the use of the NADA auricular acupuncture protocol to manage the hot flushes and night sweats experienced by breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen and Arimidex medication. Professor Charlotte Furth sets the scene with some fascinating insights into how approaches to the treatment of women (fuke/gynaecology) and its status in the medical hierarchy have changed throughout the history of Chinese medicine.
In Chinese medicine, our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of being are all considered to be expressions of different states of qi. In contrast to the mind:body split so deeply rooted in European tradition, Chinese medicine acknowledges that mind and body are mutually dependent, the state of one influencing the state of the other. It is this fundamental and eminently practical appreciation which enables Chinese medicine to provide such a valuable contribution in the field of mental health.
Articles in this issue explore the subject of reflective practice from a number of perspectives, highlighting its importance for us as practitioners, for our patients, and for the profession as a whole.
Authors 'see' different things and we are all the richer for that experience, from the time and expertise that scholarship demands in one article on ‘fire’ to the ability to describe a patient so well that we can 'feel' their reality in another. We have articles from Australia, China, India, Italy, Mongolia – reflecting the inspiration that Chinese medicine provides practitioners worldwide.
With both Chinese and western medical languages we often have to simplify for the sake of time and convenience. But to what extent is this simplification a reflection of our own lack of understanding and scholarship? How much of ourselves have we woven into our interpretations?
As acupuncture develops in the West we need to continue to maintain high standards in education and diversity in our approach to ensure its continued survival. Authors discuss their views on diversity and what it means to be an acupuncturist.
A recurrent question implicit in many of the articles is how to interpret the past through the eyes of the present, in particular looking at tributes to the work of Dick van Buren and J R Worsley, both pioneers in acupuncture education in the West, who sadly died, and to whom this issue is dedicated. Their deaths mark the passing of an era whose legacy influenced the development of acupuncture not only in the UK but in the US and Europe as well.
Authors highlight how responsibility to produce safe, ethical and competent practitioners shifts away from teaching and training to the profession and to the individual, once they are in practice. Many of the articles stress the importance of the ongoing dialogue we need to have with ourselves and our peers about why and how we do what we do.
How can we grow old gracefully and in good health? Can we really expect to live longer against a backdrop of increasing economic uncertainty, working long hours and playing hard? Authors discuss jing and qi deficiencies in children as well as jing essence. Also included are articles on the beginnings of acupuncture in China and the future of Chinese medicine.
Authors describe why acupuncture and tui na are such good treatment options to consider for children and how effort put in at an early stage can prevent disease getting locked in at a deep level in a particular phase of a child's development.
We explore a repertoire of treatment modalities that go under the name of acupuncture from myofascial trigger point therapy and the NADA protocol used as detoxification treatment in addiction settings to the practice of medicine as transformation and the role of reflection in Chinese medicine..
If you do not speak Chinese and do not have direct access to classical texts, how do you assess claims to authenticity and interpretation? What is the version of Chinese medicine that you practise and how did you construct it?
As men are comparatively infrequent attendees at GP surgeries, this issue looks at some of the diseases which specifically affect them (acute prostatitis, erectile dysfunction, male infertility and gout) and how Chinese medicine could be of benefit.
At the start of a new millennium authors debate the issues surrounding the assimilation of traditional medicines against the backdrop of the global dominance of western medicine. What kind of research should we foster and should government fund complementary medicine?
Tuning in and making sense of the different cycles of life to which we are subject are discussed from the viewpoints of modern science and ancient wisdom. We look at women's cycles and their interpretation in relatively more emancipated times as well as 7/8 year cycles and the movement of breath.
Statutory regulation - crossroads or millstone? Positions for and against are fleshed out in the context of the different meanings and identities attached to being an 'acupuncturist'. Would statutory regulation be of benefit to the development of the profession? Has it been for others?
How do we help people understand the aetiology of their pain within the context of their lives? Managing the three components to pain, namely the physical, emotional and cognitive components, is part of the art of being a competent practitioner.
Central to Chinese medicine are diagnostic methods which value other ways of knowing from the scientific, rational approach of analysis prevalent in western medicine, such as the testimony offered by utilising our senses and using the wisdom of our own bodies.
We explore ethical principles in health care and how these impact on the therapeutic relationship between patient and practitioner. Are these principles different in the therapeutic encounters of complementary medicine as opposed to those of orthodox medicine?
Innovation is the inevitable result of the cross fertilisation of ideas which the meeting of cultures will necessarily foster and which must take place if Chinese and Oriental medicine is to become 'ours'. Some of these ideas stretch the boundaries of what is commonly understood as the domain of Chinese medicine.
The fruits of accreditation and validation processes are explored by demonstrating the exciting changes that are taking place within educational institutions regarding the process of learning, in particular the movement from didactic teaching methods to problem-based and student-centred learning.
Articles were especially solicited from Chinese authors to reflect the clinical diversity currently being practised in modern day China. These include articles on infertility, tui na and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of childhood anorexia and the clinical application of Five Phase theory in the practice of herbal medicine.
This issue explores the flowering of a number of different medical traditions in the countries of East Asia, based on Chinese medicine, reflecting the different cultural determinants of the host nations where they flourished.
Practitioners discuss the treatment of a number of immune related diseases such as HIV and AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Articles also explore the patients' perspective on being ill and being treated.
Issues relating to the role that research can play in the professional development of acupuncture are discussed with a view to developing appropriate research methodologies, identifying the research needs of the profession and exploring the relationship between research and practice
The first issue of EJOM explores various interpretations of the Chinese concept of shen, from studies of its meaning in the classics to western interpretations based upon the clinical experience of practitioners in the West.