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Editorial

Author: Daniel Maxwell

Welcome to Issue 122 of the Journal of Chinese Medicine and – as our cover celebrates – happy new year of the white rat! As the first animal in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, the rat represents the beginning of a new era. In resonance with this, after celebrating our fortieth birthday in our last issue (121), the Journal of Chinese Medicine has used this auspicious moment to make a quantum leap to a digital platform...

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Anatomical Perspectives on the Acupuncture Treatment of Low Back Pain

Author: Whitfield Reaves

Using the quadratus lumborum, the gluteus medius and the sacroiliac joint in the treatment of low back pain may be considered ‘contrarian’, as low back pain is commonly experienced along the spine and para-spinal muscles. Additionally, many medical perspectives place primary importance on the intervertebral disc as the cause of back pain. In the author’s experience, low back pain is often generated by the three above-mentioned anatomical structures. Furthermore, the role of pelvic and lumbar stabilisation as well as postural considerations is often excluded in standard clinical assessments, and will therefore not be addressed in treatment. This article aims to clarify these aspects of the treatment of low back pain in the hope that it helps clinicians relieve the suffering of their patients.

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Classical Theory in Clinical Practice: Understanding the Physiology and Pathology of our Patients

Author: Andrew Nugent-Head

This article presents the foundation of classical Chinese medical thinking -  the concept of yin and yang - and how this informs clinical practice. The author explains how, particularly since the Song Dynasty, there has been a tendency for clinicians to misunderstand this concept by focusing on a narrow meaning of yin and yang at the expense of a broader understanding. From the classical perspective, yin and yang are not proper nouns that describe static and distinct entities, but rather relative descriptors that express the constantly changing nature of the whole of existence. The explanation includes a discussion of the classical understanding of the concepts of qi and blood, and upright and pernicious. Clinical examples are provided that illustrate the theory.

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The Channel Less Treated: A Survey of Same-Movement Organ Pairs and Their Associated Channels

Author: Philip Suger

The zang fu organs in Chinese medicine are said to be interconnected by means of the channel system. This organisation gives rise to physiologically significant pairs of organs that can be considered for treatment in the clinic. Of these, internal-external pairs and same-name pairs are frequently discussed. A third type of organ pair exists which receives less attention, though is no less important: the same-movement pairs. This paper describes and expounds upon the same-movement organ pairs and discusses how to apply this concept in the clinic.

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Chinese Herbal Foot And Hand Soaks For Physical Injury

Author: Conny Cooper

Chinese herbal foot and hand soaks can be an effective modality to treat musculoskeletal injuries. This article describes the theory and methodology of using herbal soaks in clinical practice. Case studies from the author’s clinic are provided to illustrate the theory.

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A New Analysis of the Pharmacomechanism of Da Zao (Jujubae Fructus) Based on the Materia Medica Commentaries of Lu Zhiyi and Zou Run’an

Author: William Ceurvels

This article elucidates a novel theory of the pharmacomechanism of Da Zao (Jujubae Fructus) developed in the late Ming and mid-Qing Dynasties in the works of prominent scholars Lu Zhiyi and Zou Run’an. This theory is then employed to provide an explanation of Da Zao’s much overlooked action within the formula Ling Gui Gan Zao Tang (Poria, Cinnamon Twig, Licorice and Jujube Decoction), as well as insight into the pathomechanism of the formula’s disease pattern.

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What Is the Mechanism of the Therapeutic Effects of Moxibustion?

Author: Alice Douglas

In this article the use of moxa, a herb used as part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, is reviewed from the perspectives of TCM and modern science. Modern research is assessed to consider whether whether there is synergy between its findings and the traditional rationale for the therapeutic benefits of moxa. There is found to be significant alignment between modern scientific research and the TCM rationale for the use of moxa. The properties of heat, acridity and bitterness as described in TCM sources seem to correlate with heat, infrared and smoke as understood by modern science. It could be considered that the benefits of moxa are derived from the combination of these properties. There is a strong rationale for performing further research to provide more robust and valuable data on this subject.

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The Integrative Acupuncture Treatment of Bell’s Palsy

Author: James H. Bae

This case study examines the efficacy and role of acupuncture based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pattern differentiation and disease stage progression alongside orthodox care in the treatment of Bell’s palsy. A 35-year old female patient went to the emergency room after onset of acute cold/flu-like symptoms. The patient noted dizziness and nausea, as well as numbness and slight motor weakness of the muscles of the left side of her face. She was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. Prednisone was prescribed along with acyclovir and administered for seven days. Following a treatment course of five acupuncture sessions, including moxibustion and electro-stimulation, the patient regained motor control and sensation, and visual signs of Bell’s palsy disappeared; the condition did not progress beyond the acute stage.

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Paediatric Acupuncture: The Evidence

Author: Natalie Saunders & Katherine Berry

This article is a review of the current evidence for paediatric acupuncture, focusing on its use for pain, nausea and vomiting, digestive disorders, bedwetting, cerebral palsy, autistic spectrum disorder, asthma and neonatal care.

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Book Reviews in this issue

  • Extraordinary Views of Abdominal Patterns: Fukosho-Kiran by Inaba Katsu Bunrei, translated by Jay Kagayama, reviewed by Victoria Conran Read the review and buy the book

  • Acupressure and Acupuncture during Birth: An Integrative Guide for Acupuncturists and Birth Professionals by Claudia Citkovitz, reviewed by Sharon Weizenbaum Read the review and buy the book

  • Clinical Guidelines to Medical Cases (Lin Zheng Zhi Nan Yi An) by Ye Tianshi, translated by Jerome Jiang with Lorraine Wilcox, reviewed by Douglas Eisenstark Read the review and buy the book