Term Paper: Records Show That Traditional Chinese

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[. . .] But this practice uniquely blends in martial arts, meditation and controlled breathing which develop "muscular strength, flexibility, posture balance and relaxation." (Allina)

Schizophrenia. Someone who has this mental disorder suffers from "distortion, extreme emotional sensitiveness, introversion, suspiciousness, manic attacks and fantasies." (Acupuncture.com) He finds difficult to think clearly, is incoherent and unable to express himself. Auditory and visual hallucinations are also often occur. The condition is attributed to "genetic and environmental factors" along with emotional injury. The most frequent victims of the disorder are young adults (Acupuncture.com).

The disorder begins with the first stage, called depressive psychosis where the person begins to feel emotionally dejected and mentally dull. Then he becomes incoherent, mutters to himself, then mood swings follow between laughter and crying. He loses appetite for food and becomes very sleepy (Acupuncture.com) His tongue becomes a "white greasy coat" and his pulse "wiry and slippery." (Acupuncture.com) The second stage, called manic psychosis, begins suddenly, where he becomes irritable. His face and eyes become flushed and he has frequent headaches, insomnia, and turns extremely restless, unusually strong, violent and abusive. His tongue is "red with yellow greasy coating" and his pulse "wiry, slippery and rapid." (Acupuncture.com)

TCM treatment for this disorder consists of regulating the qi in alleviating the depression; resolving the phlegm and calming the shen for the first stage (depressive psychosis); and purging the fire, removing the phlegm, tranquilizing the mood and calming the shen for the second stage (manic psychosis).

Schixophrenia is also known in China as dian kuang or the "madness syndrome." (Tof 1998) wherein the shen or mind or consciousness is in the state of confusion. The person, thus, loses "s synchronization between inner energies and external mechanisms that influence those energies" (Tof), a dysfunction that results in the loss of one's ego boundaries. Practitioners perceive this as a consequence of a dysfunction in the wei qi, a protective energy, likewise affects the immune system as well. The treatment of hallucinations, poor concentration, lack of vitality and delusions of the person with schizophrenia has been a combination of acupuncture and herbs.

Depression. The Chinese refer to the condition as yuzheng, where the person has a greatly diminished zest for life. According to TCM, this is due to the stagnation of the emotional and physical qi, which is largely stored and occurs in the liver, kidneys and lungs. If the stagnation is chronic, the depression is severe. (Hirsh) Other practitioners agree to this condition as indicative of blocked liver energy. Treatment for depression can be in the form of two types of exercise: the first, involving qicong warm-ups, and the second, exercises to stimulate and tune up the whole biomechanical bodily systems in order to relieve stress, maintain youth, and promote general well-being (Hirsh). Or it can be through the use of the Chinese herb curcuma (iyu jin) which is believed to unblock the blocked liver energy. Depression is collectively viewed by TCM practitioners as proceeding from the deep and chronic emotions or thoughts of anger and guilt.

Eating Disorders. TCM views these disorders as occurring due to weakness of the spleen, in turn, manifesting as obsessive behavior (Tof). These are recent conditions among cultures that place much weight on physical looks and condemns overweight. TCM practitioners see these as cases of abnormal appetite disturbance, complicated by "psycho-emotional factors." The spleen is at the center of the conditions, since it "rules cognitive capacity, concetration and momorizing"... As well as in the "exercise of these pursuits and excess ruminations" which damage spleen functioning and lead to digestive troubles.

The most commonly known eating disorders today are anorexia nervosa and bulimia: the first being the loss of appetite, and the second, involving overeating and rejecting the intake because of guilt and self-condemnation, through vomiting or laxatives. TCM practitioners consider the condition manageable with a treatment combination of acupuncture and herbs to re-establish digestive harmony (Tof).

Acupuncture. It is an ancient healing form involving the stimulation of the various points of body with needles in order to balance the person's qi (Xi Yi Tang). Those body points are the 361 acupuncture channels or meridians throughout the body, 12 of which are main ones.

Acupuncture is believed to have begun in the Stone Age (Xi Yi Tang) and has been used in China for more than 3,000 years. At that time, bones or bamboo were used to stimulate those body points, instead of the needles used at present. By asking the person with a physical or mental complaint or disease, the TCM practitioner can determine where the qi is blocked or deficient and thus stimulate those points.

Acupuncture is a holistic method and form of healing that can treat any disease and improve the health of a person. It usefulness has been especially demonstrated in the management of pain as an alternative to synthetic anaesthesia. It has also proved its value in controlling weight and cigarette smoking. Records show that acupuncture either treats or relieves the symptoms of a long list of ailments, deficiencies and other abnormalities. But in brief, these include: breathing and lung disorders (asthma, chronic bronchitis and coughs); circulatory problems (high and low blood pressure, angina, poor blood circulation); emotional and mental disorders (anxiety, depression, eating disorders and insomnia); gynecological problems (irregular menstruation, premenstrual pain, dysmenorrhea); joint and allied painful conditions (arthritis, headaches, injuries, inflammation and back problems); nerve conditions (Bell's palsy, sciatica, neuralgia); urinary and reproductive conditions (impotence, incontinence and infertility) and sudden and acute conditions (flu, common cold and stomach troubles) (Xi Yi Tang).

In determining one's mental disorder, the practitioner locates the specific energy channels of the body where the block is located and begins to stimulate these channels through their expert use of fine needles. The same principle of energy stimulation is involved in acupressure and reflexology which are also more convenient, because the person himself can use these two methods on himself anywhere and any time.

Pain is managed through the so-called auricular acupuncture. In the ear are the points that connect to the various parts of the body. These are stimulated in either ear to create an anaesthetic effect on the desire part or parts. Auricular acupuncture has been used this way in many parts of the world. A needle or a small pellet us pressed manually to create the effect.

Herbs. TCM enjoys far greater appeal than conventional medicine in that it is not only more effective and more lasting, but also because there are no side effects. Acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology and herbs can, for example, tranquilize or sedate an emotionally or mentally disturbed person without leaving him severely drowsy (Singler) There are two classes of sedatives used by TCM: the first is a group of stronger tranquilizers, shell or hematite that effectively soothe the mind; and the second consists of mild sedating herbs possessing strengthening properties, such as ziziphus and polygala. These herbs not only calm but also nourish the heart and are more suitable to weaker and less acute conditions. Their use can be moderated, yet they are strong enough to "avoid hospitalization in a psychiatric ward." (Singler)

Practitioners, however, caution that these herbs should be used temperately and according to the requirement of the person's disorder. One person suffering from anxiety may also experience back pain as well as night sweats, but another, experience also extreme fatigue, indigestion and anemia. Common sense will dictate that they be given different doses of herbal formulas and stimulation be done in different energy points. As already mentioned, the first person will need treatment in the kidney and strengthening in the heart, while the second will need strengthening in the spleen, blood, and heart. What surfaces is the precision and individuality of treatment and management.

More About TCM.. The Huichol Shamanism's Four Elements as basis of their indigenous self-healing practices are similar and coincide with TCM's Five Elements.

While modern civilization continues to learn more about and be benefited by TCM, it has also been observed to be imperfect and incomplete in its current approach (Tof). Experts observed that TCM is a rather "closed system" that is not receptive to revision by newer and more open understanding and that this strong reliance on traditional wisdom "may obstruct advancement." Western thinkers believe that TCM has, in fact, sustained a lot of much-needed modifications that address "idiographic concerns rather than exclusively nomothetic psychological ideals." (Tof). They believe that this is TCM's opportunity for self-discovery which is not inherent in its culture, and social and political systems.


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Allen, JB. Depression and Acupuncture: Controlled Clinical Trial.

Psychiatric Times 2000 Vol. XVII

Allina Hospitals and Clinics. Alcoholism. Health Online 2002

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Dharmananda, Subhuti. Acupuncture and Herbs for Mind and Body Disorders.

Institute for Traditional Medicine, 2000

Hirsh, Roger. Qigong, Chinese Medicine and Depression

Maclean, D and A. Shane. Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Catie: Making a Difference Through Information

Secunda, Babst. Shamanism and Chinese Medicine. Five Branches Institute,

College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1998

Tof, Ilanit.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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