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Author: Daniel Maxwell

The first week back in clinic after new year saw me chewing the winter cud with a patient whose Christmas had been ruined by a seasonal bug that had left her exhausted, overflowing with phlegm and running to the loo with diarrhoea. In the south-west of the UK where I live it had rained pretty much solidly for a month from mid December, resulting in the worst floods that many could remember. A proper damp squib. The year before in January 2023 we had witnessed a brave soul make the best of that winter's flooding by taking his windsurfer out across the fields that are normally full of sheep. This year the waters were even higher. Everyone knows the UK is wet, but it seems to be getting wetter. That morning I had listened with horror to a report on BBC Radio 4 about substandard social housing that focused on the death of a poor child from mould. It included an interview with a mother who recounted how she had to brush mould off her family's pillows, duvets and clothes on a daily basis...

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Heart Moves Hand, Hand Moves Bone: A History and Case Study of Traditional Chinese Bone Setting

Author: Daniel Spigelman

The practice of bone setting has a long history in China, yet is often overlooked in contemporary clinical practice in the West due to a variety of factors. Traumatology and healing of acute bone injuries were of profound concern to disparate cultures throughout world history, with China being no exception. This area of medical practice was particularly relevant in times of warfare with medical innovations often being forged from battlefield experience. Although there exist substantial philological recordings of these historic orthopaedic practices, most were transmitted orally making it difficult to discern the reality of such past praxis. This article presents a contemporary case study of a metacarpal fracture to highlight how these classical Chinese orthopaedic texts can be employed in a modern clinical setting. A step-bystep outline of the process of treating an acute bone fracture using a purely traditional Chinese medical methodology is chronicled with the intention of creating a wider awareness of the efficacy of such techniques and fostering a deeper understanding of some of the general principles involved in the treatment of acute traumatic injuries.

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Helping Breech Babies Head South with Moxibustion – Three Cases with Clinical Recommendations

Author: Lily Lai

Breech presentation affects three to four per cent of singleton pregnancies, and moxibustion therapy is one of the treatments recommended to patients to improve the chances of baby being head-down at birth. In this paper, the author describes three case studies in which pregnant patients were helped to turn their breech babies using moxibustion alongside other Chinese medicine approaches. These three examples offer a nuanced account of how moxibustion can be applied in real-world practice amongst diverse patient presentations and provides insight into how to support patients in adhering to ongoing self-administered moxibustion to further increase clinical effectiveness and achieve the desired outcome of cephalic presentation.

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The Treatment of Oral Problems with Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture: A Classical Approach

Author: Franck Calland

This article describes the Chinese medical treatment of various oral problems - including the adjacent structures of the jaws and sinuses – through application of the classical perspective contained in Huang Yuan-yu’s Si Sheng Xin Yuan (The Original Spirit of the Four Sages). We will review the main morphological structures of the oral field and the key pathological processes that can affect them - both in biomedical terms and through the lens of Chinese medicine – to then analyse the two formulas Huang Qin Shi Gao Tang (Scutellaria and Talcum Decoction) and Chai Hu Tao Ren Tang (Blupleurum and Peach Pit Decoction) in terms of their specific application to oral health. Modifications to the formulas and acupuncture strategies are also given. The article includes two clinical case examples.

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Anatomy of the Shang Han Lun: Part 1

Author: Joon Hee Lee

This is the first part of a two-part article on the Shang Han Lun (Discussion of Cold Damage). The title of this article, Anatomy of Shang Han Lun, has a dual meaning. On one hand, it implies the article is an effort to dissect the Shang Han Lun in order to look at its details; on the other, the author focuses on the six diseases of the Shang Han Lun (tai yang, shao yang, yang ming, tai yin, shao yin and jue yin) from an anatomical perspective, including the circulatory aspects of qi, blood and fluids. A central tenet of the article is that Zhang Zhong Jing’s six diseases can be understood from an empirical perspective according to their location and signature characteristics. Defining their location using anatomical references facilitates understanding of each disease in practical terms. Zhang Zhong Jing’s consistent descriptions of sweating, vomiting, draining and harmonising as treatment principles are a testament that the Shang Han Lun is a document based on ancient empirical medical observation and experience. Simply put, this approach involves medical intervention to relieve pathologic pressure built up in certain locations of the body due to impaired circulation of qi, blood and/or fluids. The Shang Han Lun reveals how the body’s reactions to cold and medical mistreatment contribute to such pathologic pressure and how to resolve it using herbal formulas. This first part of the article gives an overview of the Shang Han Lun terminology and concepts, while the second part presents a detailed analysis of the six diseases.

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The Acupuncture Channels Passing Through the Liver, Gall Bladder and Pancreas: Discoveries From Electrodermal Screening Device Research

Author: Dwight Chien

In this article scientific technologies for detecting qi in the living human body are reviewed. Among these electrodermal screening devices, the Apparatus for Meridian Identification (AMI) is elaborated in detail. Upon close examination of a specific AMI experiment, the data showed a significant difference between the right- and left-side Liver channels. The author concludes that this difference indicates that the right-side Liver channel passes through the Liver organ, while the left-side Liver channel does not. Further analysis of data from this experiment reveals previously unreported aspects of the relationship between the Spleen and Gall Bladder channels and the pancreas.

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The Extractive Nature of Integrative Medicine

Author: Toby Daly

Integrative medicine is a reasonable theoretical model but becomes dysfunctional when put into practice. This article explains the problems and nature of integrative medicine, with a particular focus on its relationship to traditional Chinese medicine. Ma Huang (Ephedrae Herba) and ‘dry needling’ are explored as two simple examples of the risks of removing something from the Chinese medical paradigm and placing them into another paradigm devoid of context. A large integrative clinic is examined to determine the detrimental effects of the application of the full integrative model. Finally, a simple three-tiered model is proposed as an alternative to the integrative model.

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Review and Commentary on Recent Investigations into Electroacupuncture Treatment for Essential Hypertension

Author: Fritz Hudnut

Hypertension is an issue of worldwide significance. In this article the author explores electroacupuncture (EA) protocols to treat high blood pressure and finds good response from a range of point protocols using a frequency of two hertz. In addition to discussion of the author’s use of EA, a paper from 2015 by Dr Peng Li et al - Long-Lasting Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electroacupuncture in Patients with Hypertension: Randomized Controlled Trial - is reviewed in detail. The University of California team responsible for this paper have published a series of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of EA for hypertension in which a frequency of two hertz is used; they have found this frequency to be significantly beneficial across a number of studies. In spite of these positive findings, EA remains to this day controversial both within and without the acupuncture community; for some in the traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) profession it is remains a new, untested technology. However, there is now RCT evidence to show solid cardiovascular benefits from the use of EA for the treatment of essential hypertension.

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