Nei Guan: The Inner Gaze - Reflective Practice in Acupuncture Traditions Richard Blackwell and Paul Hougham The authors review aspects of what has been termed ‘reflective practice’ and go on to identify its themes within acupuncture traditions. They cite hua (transformation) as our point of origin for education, medicine and spiritual practice; they examine the nature of engaged awareness and the path of the heart; they explore the concept of reflection itself and its role at the core of Daoist alchemy; they develop the notion of acupuncture traditions forming a body of knowledge rather than mere intellectual knowing, and explore the challenges inherent in working from somatic knowledge. They conclude by revisiting reflective practice in the light of Scheid and Bensky’s work on yi - signification, or intent - (published in EJOM Vol. 2 No. 6; Winter 1998/99), and argue for a wide interpretation of reflective practice within acupuncture traditions that honours their roots and diversity and embraces bodywork and the cultivation of inner stillness as much as it does intellectual knowledge. Read the whole article
Acupuncture Detoxification (AcuDetox) Treatments in Addiction Settings Margaret Pinnington 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.
A Continuing Professional Development Programme Gerry Harris 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.
Feeling the Pulse: Trial to Assess Agreement Level among TCM Students when Identifying Basic Pulse Characteristics Sean Walsh, Deirdre Cobbin, Karen Bateman and Chris Zaslawski This paper reports a study designed to investigate the agreement between TCM students in their discrimination of basic pulse parameters such as speed, depth, volume, length and overall quality of the pulse. Method: a standardised form was used to assess agreement among the sample of students on three occasions: at the beginning of formal pulse diagnosis teaching classes (week 1), at the conclusion of pulse teaching (week 14), and one year later. Students were randomly divided into two groups, with each group randomly assigned three subjects, for whom each member of the group was required to palpate the pulse. Data were analysed using Chi square.
The Liver's Shuxie Function Mary Garvey and Qu Lifang This paper discusses the liver's shuxie function by examining the separate or distinct actions of shu and xie. Shu means coursing, dredging, combing and smoothing. Shu-coursing is a well-known function of the liver, which keeps the channels, tissues and organs in good order so that the circulation of qi, blood, and fluids throughout the body is smooth and free of obstruction. Xie means discharge and includes external discharge as well as internal secretions. Xie-discharge/secretion is rarely emphasised in modern texts. Shu and xie are shown to have a mutually supportive and mutually engendering functional relationship. Traditionally, shuxie benefits and enables traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physiology generally, and has a close relationship with male and female reproductive functions. With a more detailed understanding of shuxie it is evident that the xie-discharge/secretion function is particularly important, for example, for ovulation, menstruation and lactation in women and emission in men. In this context, the discussion also highlights the liver-kidney relationship. The liver and kidney pairing forms a fundamental axis of TCM physiology, and the harmonious integration of liver shuxie (dredge and discharge) and kidney fengcang (seal and store) is an essential component of their relationship. Various examples of shuxie function are examined to show how TCM has adapted classical interpretations so that Chinese medicine discourse today includes aspects of neural, endocrine and immune physiology.
Myofascial Trigger Points and Acupuncture Dr Will Richardson 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.
A Descriptive Outcome Study of 291 Acupuncture Patients Russ Chapman, Rosemary Norton and Dr Charlotte Paterson This article describes prospective and descriptive study of acupuncture patients' outcomes. It involved 13 acupuncture practices in southwest 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.
Paradigms Lost: Why a Little Philosophy is Important to Chinese Medicine Simon King This article aims to apply philosophical reasoning to the broad issue of Chinese medicine’s relationship to Western science. In particular, it looks at attempts to justify Chinese medicine using terms from Thomas Kuhn’s theory of science such as ‘paradigm’ and ‘incommensurable’ and argues that the inconsistencies and implications of that theory and its application to Chinese medicine have not been rigorously explored. It is proposed that, rather than engage in extensive speculative endeavours, philosophers of Chinese medicine should limit their ambitions to clarifying concepts, pursuing implications and exposing inconsistencies, for the sake of our own self belief and so as to better enable fair dialogue with Western scientific and medical doctrines.