Back to top

Traditional Chinese Medicine as a Basis for Treating Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Theory with Illustrative Cases

Citation: Aung, S. K., Fay, H., & Hobbs, R. F. (2013). Traditional Chinese Medicine as a Basis for Treating Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Theory with Illustrative Cases. Medical acupuncture, 25(6), 398-406.

Abstract Source: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acu.2013.1007

Abstract:
Background: Integrative medicine is becoming increasingly accepted in the global scheme of health care. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is often included among integrative medicine modalities.

Objective: This article provides a background for integration of acupuncture and other TCM-derived approaches to managing psychiatric conditions.

Methods: Classical theories of TCM that pertain to psychiatric conditions are reviewed, focusing on concepts of energetic imbalance, the implications of mind–body–spirit connections, and treatment strategies that involve TCM modalities. An example of correlation between TCM patterns of disharmony and the Western diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is given, along with an illustrative case in which counseling, medications, and acupuncture were combined in treatment. TCM principles are incorporated in certain energy psychology modalities, such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). A case is presented demonstrating the integration of energy psychology with acupuncture, Qigong and hypnosis as an avenue for releasing pathogenic emotions. In classical TCM theory, assessing and treating spiritual disharmonies is fundamental for dealing with emotional disorders. Practical application in a clinical case is described.

Conclusions: TCM offers a cogent theoretical basis for assessing and clinically managing patients presenting with mental health issues. TCM principles integrate well with other systems, including Western medicine.

Craig’s Notes:
This paper discusses how the use of acupuncture, EFT and other approaches that are based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and meridian work can be helpful in managing different psychiatric conditions.

The authors discuss the correlation between the Western diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder and the Chinese Medicine theory of “patterns of disharmony.” They cite a case where counseling, medications and acupuncture were combined in a successful treatment. They also describe a case in which EFT is shown to be therapeutic. They describe practical applications of various alternative methods and conclude that Traditional Chinese Medicine can be helpful in assessing and helping patients with mental health issues, and that it integrates well with Western medicine.