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Editorial

Author: Daniel Maxwell

I heard the news today, oh boy. Pandemic, climate emergency, war, populist demagogues, Islamic death cults, police brutality, cost of living, ‘stagflation’ … need I go on? It’s tough out there. In our clinics, we witness our patients struggling with the grim onslaught.

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Acupuncture in the Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome

Author: Steve McCulloch & Chloë Ogden

Restless leg syndrome is a common cause of distress and insomnia. Due to the limited effectiveness of biomedical treatment for this condition, patients frequently seek out acupuncture. A common acupuncture treatment approach emphasises point selection according to eight principle zangfu diagnosis. However, research has shown this approach to produce mediocre clinical results. In the experience of the authors, clinical success with this condition requires reframing the pathology in terms of qi and blood of the channel system, careful observation and palpation of the tissues of the hips, ‘kua’ and legs, and robust needling of ashi points. This article summarises this approach to acupuncture treatment and gives two illustrative case studies.

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Following the Flow of Nature: The Microbiome and Intermittent Fasting Through the Lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Author: Linda Y. Qiu and Thomas Richardson

More than half of the human body consists of non-human microbes such as bacteria and viruses. Microbes can cause infection, inflammation, immune system disorders, obesity, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, even heart failure. Microbes are governed by the cycles of nature, including the cycles of day and night, and are influenced by what and when we eat. Research has shown intermittent fasting to be a promising approach for reducing inflammation, improving metabolic health and reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, possibly through influencing gut microbial composition. This article explores the role of the microbiome and intermittent fasting on human health from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

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The Acupuncture Treatment of COVID-19-related Epilepsy: A Case Study

Author: Yonggang Han

This article describes the case of a 10-year-old boy who presented in clinic with tonic-clonic seizures that had developed following COVID-19 infection. Six months of anti-epileptic drugs were ineffective. After a short course of acupuncture treatment the seizures stopped and did not return.

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The Great Transformation - Altering Attitudes Toward Menopause with Chinese Medicine

Author: Natalie Chandra Saunders, Suzanne Cochrane & Katherine Berry

Menopause is an unavoidable phenomenon and one which many women dread. However, although it may be associated with a variety of undesirable symptoms, this is not always the case. Many factors can influence the way in which a woman transitions through midlife and menopause. Much is of course determined by genetics, but one of the most influential aspects is each woman’s individual attitude toward menopause and ageing. For example, women who have a positive outlook on the process may encounter fewer troublesome symptoms. As acupuncturists, we are uniquely positioned to help our patients shift their perspective and thus ease their journey through menopause and beyond.

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Tendon Bi: TCM Analysis and Acupuncture Treatment

Author: Joel Salvador

Bi (痹) syndrome located in the sinews is classified as tendon (jin) bi. Its specific symptoms are pain, stiffness and weakness of the tendons and joints; the joints can be bent, but not stretched. Clinically, tendon bi syndrome covers many different acute and chronic tendinopathies including several kinds of tendinitis, tendinosis and tenosynovitis such as De Quervain's tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow), Pes Anserine tendinitis (goosefoot tendonitis), supraspinatus tendinitis and adhesive capsulitis or periarthritis of the shoulder ('frozen shoulder'). This article describes the theory of tendon bi and presents strategies for successful acupuncture treatment of this common condition.

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Moxibustion for the Treatment of Distal Peripheral Neuropathy in Diabetes Mellitus: A Case Report

Author: Joyce K. Anastasi, Londa Hackett, Bernadette Capili, Nigel C. Dawes

Distal sensory peripheral neuropathy (DSPN) in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a painful chronic condition that affects one’s quality of life. People with DSPN experience pain, numbness, tingling, sensory loss, absent or reduced reflexes, and muscle weakness. Distal sensory peripheral neuropathy in T2DM is typically managed with tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants and opiates. However, side effects can occur with pharmaceuticals, therefore a non-invasive symptom management approach such as moxibustion is worthy of consideration. Unfortunately, moxibustion is often overlooked and not considered a viable method for managing symptoms associated with DSPN. This case report illustrates the success of six moxibustion treatments conducted twice weekly for three weeks. The treatments reduced pain related to DSPN and improved indices of neurosensory testing.

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Acupuncture for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A Case Report

Author: Rory Crouse

This article describes a case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that presented with anxiety, depression, nightmares and intense physical pain. The patient’s condition was rooted in a childhood of severe neglect and abuse. After five months of acupuncture treatment the patient experienced significant improvements in pain (physical and otherwise), sleep, mood and well-being, which were consistent at one year follow up. The acupuncture approach used, involving sequential phases of treatment of the Heart, the spirit and the constitution, is recommended as a clinical model that can be used by practitioners to guide treatment of this condition.

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Acupuncture Treatment of Anxiety: A Case Study

Author: Hoang Tran

Anxiety disorders are one of the leading mental health concerns worldwide and have a serious impact on patients’ quality of life. This case study addresses the question of whether acupuncture can be an effective treatment for anxiety. A 53-year-old male patient with a chief complaint of three years of anxiety that had been aggravated by economic and social hardship experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic was treated with four weekly treatments of acupuncture. At the end of the course of treatment, the patient reported improvement of his anxiety as well as alleviation of associated symptoms including worrying, insomnia and muscular pain.

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Finding Your Way Through the Forest – A TCM Practitioner’s Guide to Evaluating Research: Part 3

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. Part 3 of this series reviews the most important criteria for assessing research papers, so that practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine and other related disciplines are able to identify errors in medical research in order to inform treatment and assist their patients. A summary checklist is included to guide readers when assessing clinical research papers.

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Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: A Case Report

Author: Kim Christensen

This case report explores the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in a 52-year-old female patient with chronic atopic dermatitis (AD) presenting on her hands, elbows and face. Over five months, the patient received 15 acupuncture treatments and utilised topical and internal herbal therapy. She experienced complete resolution of itching, erythema, dryness, scabbing, swelling and skin thickening on all affected areas. Assessment, diagnosis and treatment were tailored to the unique presentation of the patient, allowing for a more individualised approach than standard biomedical therapy.

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Book Reviews in this issue

  • Complete Compendium of Zhang Jingyue Vol. 50–51 Part 1: Eight Battle Arrays of New Formulae with Historical Commentaries and Supplementary Case Studies by Zhang Jingyue and Chén Xiūyuán

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