Patient-Practitioner Professional Relationships Mandy Foster The publication by the General Medical Council of its Good Medical Practice rules and guidance which received extensive coverage in the UK media, has highlighted the issue of patient-practitioner professional relationships and what is considered acceptable or unacceptable behaviour. The author of this article currently serves as the British Acupuncture Council's Professional Conduct Officer. She writes to alert practitioners to the genuine problems that exist in patient-practitioner relationships, and to prompt them to consider whether their conduct, and that of their patients, is within acceptable boundaries.
Teaching Chinese Pulse Images: The Three Step System of Chinese Pulse Reading Frances Turner This article starts by outlining the challenge of pulse diagnosis and the problems that can arise in getting to grips with the 28+ pulses of Chinese medicine. It goes on to offer a way of meeting this challenge: the Three Step System of Chinese Pulse Reading. It presents the Three Steps in a systematic and simple way, highlighting confusions that can arise in the translation of Chinese pulse images into English, and shows how the Three Step System can make accessible a subject that sometimes seems difficult and unapproachable. Read the whole article
Spirits, Ghosts and Chinese Medicine Poney Chiang In many primitive societies, shamans or witch doctors often performed the dual roles of healer and intermediary between the worlds of men and spirits. With the support of ethnographic evidence, similarities between acu-moxibustion and shamanic practices are presented to suggest a possible origin of acu-moxibustion in the occult. Shamanic motives based on sacred-pain, spirit-letting via fenestration and fumigation are theorised for acu-moxibustion. Possible contributions from Daoist mysticism to Chinese medicine are proposed, particularly in the nomenclature of points. Tracing the origins of Chinese medicine and acu-moxibustion from a shamanic perspective can provide a novel appreciation of these arts.
Traditional Acupuncture for Low Back Pain Hugh MacPherson and Kate Thomas This article reports on a highly significant, high-quality randomised controlled trial to determine whether GP referral to a short course (up to 10 individualised sessions) of traditional acupuncture might improve longer term outcomes for patients with chronic low back pain in primary care, and at a cost that would be affordable by the NHS. 241 patients were recruited to the trial with 160 being randomised to the acupuncture group and 81 to the control group which received usual GP care alone. The results indicate that when patients in primary care with low back pain are referred to a BAcC acupuncturist for a short course of treatment, they will, on average, improve over time and show greater improvement than if they had received usual GP care alone. Although the course of acupuncture only lasted around 3 months, their situation improved over time, and continued to improve between 12 and 24 months. The authors' recommendation from this study is that GPs should consider referring patients with low back pain to a qualified acupuncturist. Read the whole article
Key Element in a Public Health Network: A Glimpse of Acupuncture in Cuba Angela Llewellyn This article describes the integration of acupuncture as an important part of a public health system once dominated by conventional western medicine. Originally a product of economic necessity, this process has helped create a medical system in Cuba that achieves life expectancy and infant mortality levels comparable to those of the US at a fraction of the cost. It also discusses the training and philosophies of practitioners, and gives an overview of a unique and creative health system - one in which acupuncture enjoys high status.
Filiform Needling Techniques on the Ten Most Difficult Points in the Head and Neck Wen Jiang and Changjing Gong Performing appropriate needling techniques on acupuncture points is a critical determinant in acupuncture practice. This is especially true when the needling techniques are operated on dangerous or risky acupuncture points. This paper attempts to explore these technical issues with head and neck acupuncture points. Jing ming Bl 1, cheng qi St 1, feng fu Du 16, feng chi GB 20, ya men Du 15, lian quan Ren 23, ren ying St 9, tian tu Ren 22, jian jing GB 21 and que pen St 12 are the main acupuncture points which are located in somewhat dangerous areas of the head and neck. If acupuncture manipulations are incorrect, they may induce unexpected accidents, hence some acupuncturists abandon these points in order to avoid danger. However, all of these points can be of exceptional therapeutic effect in the clinic if the acupuncture manipulations are correct. In order to get better effects and avoid accidents, practitioners should pay attention to both the conventional needling techniques and the special techniques discussed in this article. Some case histories are presented at the end of the paper.
Criteria for the Appraisal of Published Acupuncture Clinical Trials Barry Nester The critical appraisal of acupuncture clinical trials can be important for both the evaluation of the therapeutic effectiveness of acupuncture and for the improvement of clinical practice. A knowledge of how to critically appraise clinical trials is a prerequisite for conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the basis of evidence-based medicine (EBM). The critical appraisal of acupuncture clinical trials also enables practitioners to decide if the findings of trials can be utilised in clinical practice in order to improve client outcomes. This paper provides a brief overview of the criteria for the appraisal of published acupuncture clinical trials for practitioners and novice researchers.
Qigong - Its History, Functions and Related Benefits as Remedial Exercise and Ongoing Practice. Part 1 Paul Lundberg Qigong is a part of the oriental healing tradition that is slowly becoming more well-known and accepted by the public. Increasingly it is being incorporated into the training programmes of shiatsu and acupuncture schools, even if only at the margins. This article discusses Qigong's history, general applications and benefits, indicating its relevance and its significance in training and its place in medicine and healing.
Exploring Acupuncture Outcomes in a College Clinic: Patient Profile and Evaluation of Overall Treatment Benefit Jackie Shaw, Penelope Bidgood and Nasrollah Saebi This article reports on a descriptive outcome study conducted at The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, UK. The study, which involved 495 patients, explored patient profile and perception of change after treatment in the College's student clinic during 12 clinical programmes from 1996-2004. The study showed a clear association between acupuncture treatment and positive health outcome as assessed by patients. The majority (82.2%) of responding patients reported a large or moderate change in their main complaint, and 88% a large or moderate change in their general health. These results, from a wide range of predominantly chronic patients, indicate high levels of patient satisfaction.