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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.
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).
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.
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.
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.