By Thomas Dey
Trade paperback book
This book was originally intended for practitioners of TCM in mainland China as an introduction to schizophrenia (from the Western perspective) and a review of the TCM treatments being used in treating not only schizophrenia, but all mental diseases. Its central focus is not on the utility of acupuncture and TCM in treating mental diseases, which the authors know from clinical experience, but on the best way to apply the treatments. Besides giving a thorough review of historical treatments, it has a fascinating section on combining treatments; when an expensive drug or a treatment with severe side effects can be used in a fractional dosage and supplemented by acupuncture or other traditional Chinese treatments, the results are truly worthy of exploration.
Additionally, the text introduces the varieties of schizophrenia according to the parameters of Western biomedical understanding. Since in Chinese traditional medicine disorders of this type are considered to be the result of invasions of the six environmental excesses, attention is given to an exposition of these factors, as well as to two additional categories of “cause” – damage from intemperance of the seven affects (joy, anger, anxiety, thought, sorrow, fear, and fright), and other factors including inherited and fetal pathoconditions. The authors detail Western biomedical diagnosis and the essentials of Chinese differential diagnosis. Treatment protocols for each condition are provided, including techniques such as electrostimulation and large needle and deep puncture techniques on the body, as well as facial, ear and scalp puncture; fluid injection therapy, point suture embedding therapy, point grasping and cupping therapy, vessel pricking and laser therapy, and co-therapy with Chinese and/or Western drugs.
Though there are arguably controversies that may be stirred by a critical reading of this book, its basic message–that Chinese medicine has much to offer for the future of psychiatric medicine–comes across with convincing clarity.
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