Language Referencing in the Teaching of Chinese Medicine Frances Turner This article - subtitled 'How Teachers’ Use of Language Reflects Their Perception of the Characteristics of Chinese Medicine' - is a summary of an MPhil research degree, completed by the author at ExeterUniversity in 2003.The study, which was based on interviews with 20 practitioners, teachers and authors of Chinese medicine, examined respondent approaches to the importance of language in the teaching of Chinese medicine, ranging from the view that it is practice which is important, not language, to the view that theory and practice, like language and understanding, are inextricably linked in a circular relationship, and that language is central to the preservation of Chinese medicine itself.The non-standardisation of the language of Chinese medicine in the West reflects a rich melting pot of different approaches to the discipline itself. The author considers that one of the most interesting findings of this study was that since our understanding of what we do is expressed in the language we use, our language use is a reflection of what we perceive Chinese medicine to be. Read the whole article.
Bearing Witness: Implications of the Law of Negligence for the Acupuncture Profession Richard James 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.
Recovering Collateral Damage Inga Heese A case study dealing with the treatment of acute capsulitis of the shoulder, often referred to as frozen shoulder, a common complaint in an acupuncture clinic, occurring most frequently in middle age and more commonly in women. Symptoms include reduced mobility and pain. The author covers the examination and diagnosis of the patient and the relevant treatment principles, treatment protocol and outcome. The main treatment aim was to restore the function of the shoulder and to stop the pain. She chose to needle the local channels and collaterals to stimulate the flow of qi and blood. In addition she used some general points to increase qi and blood production and circulation. She concludes that acupuncture can be a powerful tool when treating dysfunction of the muscular system. In frozen shoulder the acute inflammatory phase can be recovered easily and progression to the adhesive stage can be prevented through successful treatment.
Human Nature in Ancient Chinese Psychology John Boyd Ancient Chinese medical texts do not in themselves form a complete, workable system of psychology. They restrict themselves to a discussion of certain aspects of psychology in the context of diagnosis and treatment of the qi. The author suggests that a broader picture of the ancient Chinese understanding of human psychology can be derived from a study of ancient Chinese literature, particularly the philosophical classics. He discusses a number of mainly Confucian concepts in order to sketch in some of the ‘background’ ideas about the psychological nature of man.
Polluted Bodies, Individual Responsibility and Personal Blame Sylvia Schroer This article, derived from a larger project initiated by the author and Dr. Vivienne Lo of UCL’s Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, focuses on contemporary practice in the European context in relation to the Chinese medical concept of xie (often translated as ‘evil’ but also implying the opposite of zheng or ‘upright’). The author suggests that modern TCM texts have played down or completed excluded the concept of xie,arguably through systematic attempts to scientise medicine and eliminate superstitious and feudal elements. In the study, 15 acupuncturists were interviewed, all but one of whom had some training in Worsley and/or Toyohari styles of practice – approaches which the researchers considered to be more relevant to the theme of xie. Two techniques taught by Worsley were found to be related to the xie concept:one taught as ‘internal/external devils’ and related to various states of emotional distress including ‘madness’ and depression; the otheremerged in a treatment known as ‘aggressive energy’, something external to be drained away. The author explores the practitioners’ approaches to xie and how they talk about it with patients. The study reveals how practitioners have adapted the moral concerns inherent in the concept of xie to the ecological debate that has increasingly taken centre stage since the 60s and 70s.
The Subtlety of the Image: The Importance of Metaphor in Translating and Understanding Chinese Medical Concepts Carl Williams and Diane Dutton Conceptual metaphor theory has indicated that thought is mostly metaphorical and largely unconscious. This has implications for the translation of Chinese medical texts. Western thinking and western science has employed mechanistic metaphors to describe health, illness and the body, whereas oriental thinking and science is grounded in a quite different organic, naturalistic view of the world. If the translator has a subtle sense of the metaphors and images behind the literature to be translated, this will result in the best form of translation. Mistranslation and misunderstanding occur when inappropriate cultural metaphors are unconsciously employed.
An Introduction to Keiraku Chiryo - Japanese Meridian Therapy Stephen Birch The article describes the system of Japanese traditional acupuncture - Keiraku Chiryo or meridian therapy - which is a form of acupuncture that has been practised for over 60 years. When it was introduced into Europe in the 1950s it had been virtually unknown outside of Japan. In the last 15 years it has established a place for itself in the US, Australasia and Europe and is being taught in postgraduate workshops and training programmes in these places. The author has studied with a number of leading meridian therapists since 1988, principally with instructors of the Toyohari or ‘east Asian needle therapy’ school of meridian therapy, in particular Kodo Fukushima, Toshio Yanagishita, Akihiro Takai and Shozo Takahashi.In this article he explains the development, basic theories, diagnostic and treatment methods and patterns of meridian therapy.
The Experience of Receiving Traditional Chinese Acupuncture G Walker, B de Valois, T Young, R Davies, and J Maher This article reports on a study by the Supportive Oncology Research Team at Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, Mount VernonHospital, Northwood, Middlesex, to evaluate the experience of women with breast cancer having treatment for the menopausal symptoms associated with Tamoxifen. A total of 16 women participated in focus groups held at least 9 months after their last acupuncture treatment. The discussions addressed the following topics: problems experienced before treatment; anticipation and expectation; experiences of the treatment session itself; effects of treatment; and overall impressions. It was found that traditional acupuncture is an acceptable treatment for women with menopause-like symptoms resulting from Tamoxifen. Patients found the overall experience enjoyable, and felt that their quality of life improved whether or not their symptoms were relieved.