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Features & Articles in this issue

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Editorial

Author: Daniel Maxwell

Given the fault line that seems to have opened up in our profession (whether COVID-19 vaccination is good/necessary or bad/evil/wrong) let us not forget the arguably greater cause around which we can come together and join with medical professionals the world over — the climate emergency. For this reason, the Journal of Chinese Medicine is proud to join the British Medical Journal, The Lancet and over 200 other health journals across the world, who have called in their editorials for emergency action to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to halt the destruction of the natural world and protect human health.

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Twenty Years of Nèijīng Research: What Has Been Learned? Part 3. Nèijīng Nature-Based Medicine - The Clinical Method

Author: Edward Neal

In several previous articles, the basic principles and research methods of classical text-based archaeology and Nèijīng nature-based medicine have been discussed. Nèijīng nature-based medicine is a specific clinical research methodology, developed over the past twenty years, that is based directly on and is consistent with the Nèijīng text. In this article, clinical principles of this method are discussed.

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The Treatment of Long COVID with Chinese Medicine: A Case Report

Author: Candace Jania

Long COVID is a relatively new disorder that is marked by chronic health complications following an acute infection of COVID-19. Approximately 10 per cent of people that contract SARS-CoV-2 continue to be in poor health three weeks after the initial onset. Currently, there are no standardised treatment methods for those suffering with long COVID due to the marked variation between individual experiences. The subject of the study suffered with gastrointestinal pain, distention and irritable bowel for four months after initial infection. After using a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, the patient’s pain disappeared, the stools became formed and regular and distention was minimal. This case illustrates the possibility of using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a viable treatment for long COVID.

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Xiao Chai Hu Tang in the Treatment of Chronic Vaginal & Vulvar Pain

Author: Orit Zilberman

Chronic vulvar pain without an identified cause is diagnosed as vulvodynia; in most of the cases the pain is provoked by physical contact, whereas in approximately 20 per cent of patients the pain is spontaneous, that is, occurring without any physical contact. Awareness of this underresearched syndrome is low and conventional treatment options are limited; therefore, women often go through a long diagnostic process, at the end of which many of them are still left without an answer to their pain. This article presents the case of a woman who suffered from chronic unexplained vaginal pain that, after several examinations and incorrect treatments, was eventually diagnosed as vulvoynia, even though her pain was not in the vulva, the external female genitals. Dietary changes and modified Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Decoction) immediately and almost completely stopped the pain, as well as successfully dealt with other symptoms the patient had suffered for years, probably following the use of unsuitable medical contraceptives.

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The Temporal Nature of Jing Fang

Author: Philip Suger

Traditional Chinese medicine, based on yin-yang theory, emphasises the importance of the influence of time on human health. In East Asia the effects of the cyclical passage of time has been carefully studied, and this is recorded in the classic texts of Chinese medicine. This article is an abridged summary of research that investigated whether there is a temporal basis for classical herb prescription, based on data from a cohort of almost 2000 patients seen at the clinic of the renowned jingfang master, Professor Huang Huang over a three year period. It was found that there was a statistically significant relationship between the formula prescribed and the time of the year, with a strong effect size. The five most frequently prescribed formulas - Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (桂枝 茯苓丸, Cinnamon Twig and Poria Pill), Da Chai Hu Tang (大柴胡汤, Major Bupleurum Decoction), Wen Dan Tang (温胆汤, Warm the Gallbladder Decoction), Xiao Chai Hu Tang (小柴胡汤, Minor Bupleurum Decoction) and Huang Qin Tang (黄芩汤, Scutellaria Decoction) - are described in detail, together with a discussion of the reasons why they were more frequently used at certain times of year.

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Acupuncture and Lifestyle Modification for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome: A Case Report

Author: Kerry Boyle

Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system can involve a variety of symptoms, including gastrointestinal, neurological, psycho-emotional and musculoskeletal irregularities. When irregular heartbeat that is worse upon standing from a sitting or lying position accompanies such symptoms, the possibility of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) should be considered. This case study demonstrates the use of acupuncture and lifestyle changes to successfully manage POTS, including dietary changes based on Chinese medicine principles, and supplemention with vitamins.

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Superficial Acupuncture with Qing Long Bai Wei Method to Treat Pain Associated with Trigger Points: A Pilot Study

Author: Yong Yii Pin & Leong May Ho

This study investigated the efficacy of superficial acupuncture using the Qing Long Bai Wei (Green-Blue Dragon Shaking Its Tail) method on reducing pain associated with trigger points. A total of 20 participants with shoulder pain were randomised to receive standard traditional acupuncture or superficial acupuncture using the Qing Long Bai Wei method. Outcomes were measured before and after one treatment using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the data were analysed using repeated measures analysis of variance. This showed that the mean change in VAS of participants with shoulder pain treated by standard traditional acupuncture was 2.20±0.632, while for participants treated by superficial acupuncture it was 4.60±2.119, a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05). This pilot study therefore suggests that the immediate pain-relieving effect of superficial acupuncture using the Qing Long Bai Wei method is greater than standard traditional acupuncture.

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TCM Management of Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccination: Case Study

Author: Hongyan Zhu & Jinjun Xu

This article describes the case of a 50 year-old female who experienced strong side-effects following the AstraZeneca vaccine, which she had received some months after having contracting COVID-19 pneumonia. After acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment she made a rapid recovery.

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The Advantages of an Integrated Approach to the Acupuncture Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions

Author: Alex Brazkiewicz

This article makes a case for integrating a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) approach with modern methods in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. To illustrate the advantages of an integrated approach, the article provides advice on a variety of clinical scenarios where this perspective improves diagnostic clarity and optimises therapeutic outcomes.

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TCM and COVID-somnia: The Treatment of Sleeping Difficulties Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Part 2: Clinical Application

Author: Rob Helmer

Insomnia is one of the most common sequelae of COVID-19. Sleep difficulties are also being reported by people worldwide whose lives have been affected by the fear and anxiety of living through the coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation resulting from government restrictions. This increase in insomnia has led neurologists who specialise in sleep disorders to coin the term ‘COVID-somnia’. This article presents the clinical application of the theoretical framework introduced in part one of this series (issue 126 of the Journal of Chinese Medicine, June 2021) through two detailed COVIDsomnia case studies.

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Shmuel Halevi 1951 - 2020

Author: Noam Ezra

This article is a tribute to Shmuel Halevi, the eminent Chinese medicine practitioner, educator and writer who lived and worked in Israel.

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Finding Your Way Through the Forest – A TCM Practitioner’s Guide to Evaluating Research: Part 1

Author: Tony Reid

Evidence based medicine is the prevailing paradigm of modern healthcare. However, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) vary significantly in their ability to appraise and understand modern research. This is the first in a series of articles that introduce the basic knowledge and skills needed to understand academic research and increase awareness of the limitations and problems associated with research methodology and statistical methods. This paper discusses evidence based medicine, bias, the peer review process, abstracts, and takes a detailed look at poor handling of statistical methodology using examples of relative risk, absolute risk and number needed to treat in the context of modern vaccine research.

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Book Reviews in this issue

  • Celestial Secrets: A Dunhuang Manuscript of Medicinal Decoctions for the Zangfu Organs by Sabine Wilms

  • Chinese Medical Characters (App for iPhone) by Toby Daly