Shen-Zhi Theory: Analysis of the Signs and Symptoms of Mental Disorder Qu Lifang and Mary Garvey The Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon) contains numerous references to ‘spirits’ that are said to reside within the body. The term ‘shen-zhi’ means ‘spirit-mind’ and telescopes the five spirits (shen, hun, po, yi, zhi) of early Chinese medical theorising. Shen-zhi theory explains the principles for understanding Chinese medicine’s perspective on human consciousness. The theory describes how each of the wu shen (five spirits) govern certain aspects of mentality and are closely related to sensory faculties, body tissues, visceral systems, and physiological substances according to the wu xing (five phase) framework of correspondence and relationship. Spirit activities thereby provide the human organism with its distinctive array of mental and sensory abilities including intelligence, insight, focused attention and memory. Shen-zhi theory is derived from key sections of the Neijing that define the nature of the wu shen, their physiological activities and relationships. When these resources and relationships are disrupted a variety of common or more serious disorders may result. We discuss some of these, and a number of specific disorders that have a particular connection with the five spirits and shen-zhi theory. Broadly speaking, they are ‘mind’ or ‘mental’ disorders. Analysis of their signs and symptoms illustrates the theory and clarifies its diagnostic relevance for modern clinicians. Read the whole article
Classical Five-Element Acupuncture: The Teachings of J R Worsley Neil R Gumenick in collaboration with J B Worsley This article outlines the teachings of J R Worsley and clarifies the basic premise behind Classical Five-Element Acupuncture – the Causative Factor – which sets it apart from other systems of acupuncture. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of the Causative Factor is the key to Classical Five-Element Acupuncture, which recognises that the health of each unique individual’s body, mind and spirit must be taken into account to fully understand and treat the cause of illness. The article includes a critique of two recent variations of what J R Worsley taught, namely ‘constitutional’ five-element acupuncture, and the concept of the ‘guardian element’. It also exposes what it calls the myth of ‘elemental types’. The importance of the practitioner’s internal state and sensory awareness are highlighted and the use of moxibustion, and the concepts of tonification and sedation are discussed.
Acupuncture in the Treatment of Psychosis: The Case for Further Research Dominic Harbinson and Patricia Ronan The medical treatment of psychosis continues to be limited, often with severe side effects. This paper sets out to examine the literature available on the treatment of psychosis and schizophrenia with acupuncture, to outline the evidence already available and to highlight the case for research into this treatment approach in the UK. A literature search was carried out using Ovid, Medline, Psych-info, Yahoo, Google and author contact to discover what research has taken place to date. This yielded evidence that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of psychosis. Although most of the research is from China and is somewhat dated, a number of studies have also been conducted in the West with promising outcomes. Given the poor prognosis for schizophrenic patients and the side effects implicit in the chronic use of conventional medication, there would appear to be good grounds for further research into acupuncture as a potential treatment modality. Carrying this out under modern scientific research conditions would help clarify whether and how this treatment might work. However obstacles such as ethics, funding and how such a study might be controlled will have to be overcome.
The Role of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the Treatment of Cancer (Part 2) Dr Friedrich Staebler This paper, which complements part 1, published in EJOM Vol. 5 No. 1, 2005, discusses the general principles of treating cancer with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), especially the contribution which acupuncture and moxibustion can make, both in slowing down the spread of tumours and in counteracting the side effects of radio- and chemotherapy. The latter is given particular prominence, since the paper argues that acupuncture and moxibustion should be used primarily as a back-up, and concomitant to conventional cancer treatment. This is followed by the introduction of a simple and effective treatment protocol the author has developed, using moxa to combat bone marrow depression (the drop in red and white blood cells) during chemotherapy. The paper concludes with two case histories chosen to give practical examples, and to show the strengths and limitations of acupuncture and moxibustion in the treatment of cancer.
The Acupuncturist’s Perspective Neil Quinton This article gives the practitioner’s perspective of acupuncture treatment delivered in a group setting within a mental health day service at the Broadway North Resource Centre in Walsall. The clients all had enduring mental health problems, most having been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression, along with a number of people suffering from bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. The practicalities of running the project are clearly outlined and common disease pathomechanisms are identified – highlighting the centrality of liver/spleen disharmony – along with typical treatment principles and points. Although there is still considerable resistance to acupuncture from some quarters and a frustratingly prevalent perception that the benefits of acupuncture are confined to ‘relaxation’, the author’s experience shows that acupuncture has a huge amount to contribute to mainstream mental health services and to the quality of life of service users.
Service Users' Experiences of Acupuncture in the Mental Health Context Doreen Till This paper, based on research conducted as part of an MA in Community Mental Health, explores service users’ experiences of acupuncture delivered in a group setting within a mental health day service at the Broadway North Resource Centre in Walsall. The majority of service users felt that acupuncture had improved their health both mentally and physically. Whilst some individuals found a group setting slightly intimidating at first, they also found benefits in the peer support that such a setting facilitated. All participants in the study thought that acupuncture should be more widely available within mental health services, and that a greater range of therapies should also be provided. Acupuncture within a group setting can be a cost-effective way of delivering a popular treatment that service users perceive as helpful to their health.
Healing in Death Nora Franglen This article (first published in Meridians Vol. 2 No. 2) is a personal account of the author’s experience, as a Five-Element acupuncturist, in treating a young patient suffering from advanced cancer. Given the strong emotions and unresolved conflicts exposed by the proximity of death, the author’s role as acupuncturist overlapped with that of counsellor, both being required to give the patient some peace of mind as death approached. The account points up the fact that, even when treatment could give only the slightest respite to the patient’s body, acupuncture had the ability work effectively at the level of the mind and spirit.