Patterns, Syndromes, Types: Who Should We Be and What Should We Do? Volker Scheid The author traces the evoloution of the concept of 'zheng' (syndrome) from its origins in the 11th century Song Dynasty with the Formulary of the Pharmacy Service for Benefitting the People in an Era of Great Peace (Tai Ping He Ji Jiu Fang) through several bifurcations into the modern era in which the globalisation of standardised zheng is being forecfully promoted by the Chinese state. In the process, he undermines the current acceptance of zheng as 'the unique core of traditional Chinese medicine' by pointing up other influences on medical practice, notably "the medicine of yi" (as espoused by physicians such as Zhu Danxi and Fei Boxiong) and the classical formula style of practice, which emerged as a reaction to this from the late 16th century onwards and whose most influential proponent was the Japanese physician, Yoshimasu Todo. Read the whole article
Response of Common Paediatric Diseases to Child Tui Na Massage: Three Case Studies Dr Hongchun Yin Tui na massage, one of the main forms of therapy in traditional Chinese medicine, has been widely used in the treatment of paediatric diseases. In this article, the author presents three cases of common paediatric diseases: eczema, insomnia and facial paralysis which responded well to tui na massage. In case 2 the insomnia was treated using a unique tui na technique passed down from Mr Zhang Xizhen, i.e. massaging with egg white on the three yang channels. As tui na massage is safe and promising, it is worthy of further study.
Traditional Needling Techniques as Practical Constructions from Reading Historical Descriptions Stephen Birch The author describes the Toyohari supplementation needle technique from the perspective of the practitioner using the language that describes for him/her what is happening. After describing the needle technique, he then cites relevant passages from the historical literature, especially the Su Wen, Ling Shu and Nan Jing, upon which the details of the needling technique are based. Thus he shows how almost every component of the technique from choosing and starting to look for the acupoint to the removal of the needle from the point can be traced to historical passages in these seminal texts. This is possible because the very nature of knowledge in these historical textual traditions is practice based. The kind of practical interpretations described here are examples of how a ‘traditional’ system of practice can be constructed bit-by-bit through the interplay of historical texts, interpretations, practical applications and observed clinical effects.
Phlegm Misting-Disturbing the Orifices and Mitral Valve Prolapse Leon Hammer The author's initial appreciation of the role of the heart, in this instance the valves of the heart, in mental-emotional illness occurred in medical school, since in biomedicine at that time the prolapse of the mitral valve was associated with panic attacks and phobias. It was, therefore, a simple cognitive step from that information to identifying other aspects of Heart function, the orifices in Chinese medicine, with psychological conditions. The emphasis which his teacher - the internationally acknowledged master Dr John H.F. Shen, with whom he worked over a period of 27 years - placed on the relationship of the heart valves and vessels to mental-emotional issues reinforced that initial connection with the concept and clinical reality of ‘Phlegm misting the orifices.’ This article outlines the aetiology, physio-pathology, pathogenesis and clinical consequences of phlegm misting the orifices, and alludes to clinical tools for its diagnosis and treatment, illustrated by two case studies.
Reinventing the Wheel: A Top Down Perspective on The Five Elements, Part II Lonny Jarrett In the first part of this article (published in EJOM Vol 7., No. 2) the author discussed the Five-Element model from the absolute perspective of spirit as consciousness. Here he examines the cultural forces at play that deny the absolute dimensions of self to glean an understanding of how Chinese medicine, and spiritual practices in general, have been compromised by the failure of postmodernity to recognize hierarchy. He considers this within the context of the Five-Element (5E) system in order to illuminate a significant distortion and cause of stagnation in our culture of healing. This distortion results from the overextension of the pluralistic perspective, and the conflation of it with relativism, to such a degree that it has led to a virtual inability of the last several generations to recognize hierarchy, constituting a condition he terms ‘Hierarchy Deficit Syndrome’ (HDS). The denial of hierarchy is one of the most significant manifestations of the postmodern ego. The physician’s failure to recognize an absolute dimension to his/her experience is constraining the emergence of integral medicine and serving as an anti-evolutionary force in culture. In short, the author argues, it is potentiating illness.
Taking the Plunge…the Perils of Researching Chinese Medicine (and some suggestions on how to survive them) Andrew Flower The author prefaces his piece with the comment that, in his experience, "research is a bit like one of those apparently calm and ordered seas which hide subtle currents and not so subtle riptides that can pull the unwary swimmer miles away from their intended destination far out into an unfamiliar and threatening ocean." In the first part of his article, he attempts to chart some of these currents, and then suggests "a few strategic resolutions that could be used to contribute to a safe and successful crossing."