Articles and Perspectives on East Asian Medicine

A Journey into Gentle and Simple

By Acupuncture, Asian Culture, Clinical Perspectives , History

Walking the Path of Neoclassical Japanese Meridian Therapy   “…A condition of complete simplicity Costing not less than everything…” T.S. Eliot   In early 1999 I enrolled in a certificate program in Japanese therapies in Seattle. A few months before I had graduated from a TCM college and was clear that the style of acupuncture I had learned there was not for me. I had little confidence I could produce good therapeutic outcomes using the tools I had been given. My forte was in the…

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Fibromyalgia

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , East/West Integration, Herbal Medicine, Neuromusculoskelatal

  According to a consensus document on fibromyalgia (FM)—the Copen­hagen Declaration (Jacobsen, Samsoe, Lund, 1993)—FM is a painful, non‑articular condition predominantly involving muscles, and is the commonest cause of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain. It was only by 1987 that FM was rec­ognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) as a distinct condition that is responsible for significant disability. Many however, still do not believe FM to be a distinct condi­tion and consider it a “garbage  diagnosis” for many separate disorders, including “just being” a verity…

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Reflections on the German Acupuncture Studies

By Acupuncture, AOM Research, Clinical Perspectives 

When clinical research studies are undertaken it is important to know why the studies were done and for whom.  Sometimes the reasons and target audience for a study become confused as researchers try to answer different questions for different reasons in the same study.  Additionally, in acupuncture trials there have been calls for many years to ensure that the tested treatment is valid and that an appropriate control is used, with various recommendations about study design requirements depending upon the type of question and study. …

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Jade Windscreen Powder

By Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine

  We learned this in our first quarter of Chinese medicine school, and if you read through the advertisements and support materials for any of the multitude of herbal products you will see this… Jade Windscreen Powder is for building the immune systems in those who easily get colds. I’m one of those people. I had easily caught colds for most of my life. I wish it were not so. I remember reading about yù píng fëng sân (Jade Windscreen Powder) and thinking my troubles…

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Purpose 志, Elation 喜, and the Pancreas 脾

By Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit, History, Theory and Diagnosis

There are many ways to look at the state of acupuncture in America and the progress that has been made over the last twenty years. In this article I would like to discuss some of the really basic terms and concepts of Oriental medicine that, even after “all these years” of acupuncture in America, are still problematic. Looking critically and carefully at the past gives us many lessons for the present and future. This must be even more true for acupuncture than for other human…

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Some Thoughts on Active Points

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives 

The goal of every acupuncturist is to locate and treat the points that are most effective, but there is a great variety of ways in which we go about this. Many approaches, classical and modern, have been advanced for this purpose, but there are many differences and not much consistency among these methods. In Japanese acupuncture, practitioners generally agree that active or effective points can be palpated as some difference at the surface. Even with this general consensus, however, active points are said to manifest…

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Dissecting Acupuncture and IVF Studies

By Acupuncture, AOM Research, Clinical Perspectives , Women's Health

  Is there any proof that acupuncture improves fertility? Savvy patients and evidence-seeking western medical professionals will undoubtedly ask this question of any acupuncturist specializing in fertility treatment. When answering the question, what research studies should be cited? Should the research be applied to practice – and in what way? While the body of western-styled evidence is quite small, there are several research studies acupuncturists may refer to when posed with this question. Acupuncturists are well aware of Chinese medicine’s clinical versatility and the efficacy…

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The Assessment and Management of Upper Extremity Epicondylitis

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Neuromusculoskelatal

  Upper extremity epicondylitis is known commonly as a “tennis elbow” when the lateral epicondyle is compromised and referred to as “pitchers elbow” when the medial epicondyle is impaired. These conditions are frequently encountered in the clinic and often are stubborn in their recovery. The manner of approach and efficiency of the acupuncture treatment can determine the success or failure of the outcome. When an acupuncturist engages the term “balance” in the description of their work, in my opinion we are speaking of structural balance….

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Wu Wei Zi: A Great Herb, A Little Caution

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine

  Wu wei zi (五味子), is one of the most interesting herbs in common use by physicians of Chinese medicine. It would be surprising to find it missing in any Chinese herbal shop. Its listing in the Shennong Bencao Jing(神農本草經) as well as in twelve formulas from the ShanghanZabing Lun(傷寒雜病論) (the combined Shanghan Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue), firmly anchors wu wei zi as a stalwart componentof the Chinese herbal tradition. Indeed two important formulas include wu weizi: Xiao Qing Long Tang from the…

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Beware the Rampaging Hun

By Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit, Theory and Diagnosis

  Human beings engage an amazing adventure in life. An individual Shen (Spirit) resides within the jing (essence), which has been consolidated by mixing the jing of both parents. A person is born, experiences the interactions of life, acts to sustain his or her individuality, and records everything that happens. Individuals have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of themselves and the universe through their presence and cultivation until the final crowning of life, when they return to the Dao. Everyone cultivates something; a few…

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