Dr Sean Walsh is a health science graduate, registered health practitioner (AHPRA:CMBA) and senior lecturer in the School of Life Sciences. He has been in continuous clinical practice since 1999 and gained his PhD in Science from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2003.
With a focus on integrative health care, Sean has been actively involved in community based organisations and private health service delivery since 1998. A practitioner and educator in the Rural Retreat Program, (AIDS Council of NSW, 1998 - 2001), he established Acuplus Therapies (1999 - 2014), located at the Edgeware Family Practice (Enmore, NSW), which specialised in pain management (or various causes) and the treatment of workplace injuries.
He is a current listed expert and has provided advice on criminal matters for the prosecution in the area of acupuncture and complementary medicine, and liaised with insurance and workers compensation scheme providers in Australia and abroad in various collaborative roles. This includes member of the HBF Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Review panel, reviewer for the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation, and advisor to AACMA on workers compensation matters and joint research projects with Allianz Insurance.
Sean has undertaken the Chinese medicine programs director role at UTS (2012 – 2015), leading successful submissions to the Accreditation Unit: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). He continues to maintain a broad scope of clinical practice and research interests in all aspects of integrative health care, with a specific focus on chronic pain and inflammation. He is an internationally published book author, member of the Human Research Ethics Committee at UTS and the Clinical Trials Subcommittee (CTSC).
Member - UTS HREC:Human Research Ethics Committee
Member - UTS Clinical Trials Subcommittee
Full Member - ARCS Australia
Registered health practitioner (AHPRA:CMBA)
Member - Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)
Member - Integrative Medicine Research Interest Group (IMRIG)
Can supervise: YES
- Health service and practice
- Neurophysiological therapeutic applications: pain and inflammation
- Musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain and acupuncture
- Chinese herbal medicine: natural products
- Integrative health care
Can supervise: Yes (PhD and Masters)
Areas of supervision:
- Cancer care: clinical, wellness and wellbeing
- Haemodynamics and applanation tonometry
- Neurophysiology: acupuncture
- Acupuncture: clinical reliability and therapeutic applications
- Chinese medicine health framework
- Therapeutic communication
- Clinical engagement: relationships, interactions and management
- Acupuncture and Chinese medicine
- Clinical neurophysiology and therapuetic applications
- 2017 - Sean Walsh (Lead), Sue Dean & Adam Morgan - Learner experience design grant. Collaborative learning through industry engagement: an authentic learning experience. (Funded)
- 2016 - Sean Walsh (Lead) & Adam Morgan - Learning group dynamic theory through annotated visualisation: negotiating meaning from collaborative learning experiences and developing key professional skills. Funded by UTS Vice-Chancellor’s learning and Teaching Grants: Small Grants 2016 ($8000)
- 2016 - Sue Dean (Lead), Sean Walsh & Chris Zaslawski - Walking in consumers' shoes: autheticity in learning experience and assessment (unfunded)
- 2014 - Learning 2014 Festival Grant Sean Walsh (Lead) - Flipped learning and technology to enhance group-based collaboration for preparing students for work-based, clinical practice - resource development, Funded by Festival Grants ($1500)
- 2013 - Sue Dean (Lead) & Sean Walsh - “Talk to them”: A pilot audio visual online resource to develop student’s therapeutic interviewing skills. Funded by UTS Vice-Chancellor’s learning and Teaching Grants: Small Grants 2013 ($9000).
Cobbin, D. & Choi, V. 2014, Tracking Down the Hand Yangming Channel Locations and Functions of Acupoints of the Large Intestine Channel, GHR Studio.
Although drawn from the study of the Large Intestine Channel these are equally relevant to all channels and fundamental CM theory. This is a valuable practical and clinically applicable resource for students and practitioners alike.
Walsh, S. & King, E. 2010, Diagnóstico por el pulso : una guía clínica, Elsevier España.
Walsh, S. & King, E. 2008, Medecine tradionnelle Chinoise: Diagnostic par le pouls Guide Clinique, Maloine, Paris.
Diagnostic par le pouls Guide clinique décrit pour les étudiants et les praticiens une évaluation sûre de la méthode du diagnostic par le pouls.
La médecine traditionnelle chinoise utilise depuis longtemps le pouls comme une donnée diagnostique. Cet ouvrage délivre des informations pertinentes et accessibles pour promouvoir l'application de cette méthode dans la pratique clinique d'aujourd'hui.
Les auteurs ont puisé leurs connaissances à la fois dans la tradition médicale chinoise et dans la biomédecine pour comprendre comment le pouls ' parle ' de la maladie et de la santé. La discussion sur la méthode par le pouls va au-delà de la tradition médicale chinoise afin de donner au lecteur un guide pratique permettant l'interprétation diagnostique des données livrées par un pouls artériel radial, même en l'absence d'un signal reconnu par la médecine traditionnelle chinoise. Dans cette optique, les auteurs ont mis au point une procédure d'interprétation des multiples variations de l'expression des ondes du pouls.
Un chapitre sur la validité et la fiabilité du diagnostic par le pouls fournit les preuves qui constituent le fondement de cette méthode.
Les sujets traités incluent des modèles théoriques et des applications, des procédures de prise de pouls, les paramètres de la méthode par le pouls, l'identification des types de pouls et leurs caractéristiques.
This exciting new book, Pulse Diagnosis: A Clinical Guide describes a reliable method of pulse assessment. The authors' style and approach to pulse diagnosis provides a unique insight into this often ambiguous system of diagnosis drawing upon the traditions of Chinese medicine, the knowledge of biomedical constructs and the relationship of each to contemporary TCM clinical practice. Subjects covered include exploration of the concept of 'pulse' and establishment of it within the context of health, current limitations of current pulse literature in relation to clinical practice, pulse diagnosis within contemporary TCM clinical practice and pulse taking procedures.
Oh, J.E., Walsh, S. & Zaslawski, C.J. 2018, 'A 10 year comparison update: A survey of socio-demogrpahics and practice characteritics of members of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association', Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 19-25.
Haysom-McDowell, A.J., Loyeung, Y. & Walsh, S. 2017, 'Case study: Gua Sha for shoulder pain with an unexpected outcome for restless leg syndrome', Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 26-30.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Meier, P., Elsdon, D., Garvey, M., Li, W.H., Loyeung, Y.K., Michaeil, C., Morgan, N., Walsh, S., Zheng, S. & Zaslawski, C. 2017, 'Moxibustion in Australia: a clinical audit of moxibustion use in a University outpatient Chinese medicine clinic', Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 17-21.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Smith, C.A., Zaslawski, C.J., Cochrane, S., Zhu, X., Zheng, Z., Loyeung, B., Meier, P.C., Walsh, S., Xue, C.C., Zhang, A.L., Fahey, P.P. & Bensoussan, A. 2017, 'Reliability of the NICMAN Scale: An Instrument to Assess the Quality of Acupuncture Administered in Clinical Trials.', Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, vol. 2017, p. 5694083.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The aim of this study was to examine the reliability of a scale to assess the methodological quality of acupuncture administered in clinical research.We invited 36 acupuncture researchers and postgraduate students to participate in the study. Firstly, participants rated two articles using the scale. Following this initial stage, modifications were made to scale items and the exercise was repeated. Interrater reliability was assessed for individual items using the Fleiss kappa statistic, whilst the overall scale used the intraclass correlation coefficient statistic. A threshold agreement of 0.61 was acceptable.We received 26 responses and a 72% response rate. The first phase of testing found moderate reliability with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.46 and 0.55 for the articles. The interrater reliability of the scales varied between and within the researchers (0.35, 0.60) and was more consistent with the postgraduate students (0.54, 0.54). Five items on the scale scored below the threshold and were revised for further testing. In this phase the intraclass correlation coefficient demonstrated variability between articles but improved to achieve reliability above the agreed threshold.This study provides evidence of the reliability of the NICMAN scale although improvements to a small number of items remain.
Choi, V., Cobbin, D. & Walsh, S. 2016, 'Revisiting the Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing: Differential Diagnostic Indications Related to the LI Channel Acupoint Sequence', Medical Acupuncture, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 148-155.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: Huang-Fu Mi's Jia Yi Jing (JYJ) is regarded as the earliest text (282 AD) on differential diagnosis and clinical acumoxa therapy in Chinese Medicine (CM). Objective: Within this Classical framework, this study examined CM clinical indications for the 20 Large Intestine (LI) channel points for evidence of possible sequence-associated patterns. Materials and Methods: The JYJ detailed the systematic definition and grouping of all acupoints termed ''Ruling Points'' (RPs) in relation to their unique patterns of signs and symptoms (''RP indications''), rather than as channel-specific lists. The JYJ includes comprehensive descriptions for RP indications for hundreds of clinical patterns for all channel acupoints, systematically categorized across six differential diagnostic books (Seven to Twelve). Two editions of the Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing (ZJJYJ) were scrutinized to identify all RPs for the LI channel sequence: the Song Dynasty Chinese edition (1077) and the English translation The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (1994) translated by Yang and Chace. RP indications for each acupoint were coded by ZJJYJ diagnostic Book and Chapter Part and examined for relationships between sequence position and diagnostic category of individual RP indications. Results: While no single category of CM indications based on the RP diagnostic system, was common to all 19 points, there were at least seven patterns involving clusters of RP indications associated with sequence posi-tions. Most important were the first 7 acupoints together with LI 11. These contributed 49 of the 61 RPs channel points, with indications drawn from all six diagnostic Books. Overall, the RP indications for the channel focused primarily on the head and neck, as well as on generalized fever and upper-limb pain and weakness. The most frequent diagnostic indications for the channel came from diagnostic Book Twelve (head and neck) with 24 RPs being identified for 12 LI acupoints. Conclusions:...
Zaslawski, C.J., Walsh, S.P., James, J. & Deare, J. 2014, 'A Survey of the Socio-Demographics and Practice Characteristics of Members of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd', Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 13-19.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Background: The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) is the largest national professional body for Chinese medicine practitioners in Australia yet little is known about specific practice characteristics of its members. Method: In December 2006, a four-page questionnaire was mailed to all association members listed on the AACMA database for that year. The questionnaire sought to obtain information on the demographics and practice characteristics of the AACMA members. In total 1 520 questionnaires were mailed out to the AACMA members, of which 386 were returned. Results: The age distribution for respondents was bimodal, with those in the 46-50 and 31-35 brackets being the highest reported ranges. With regard to education, most respondents stated they had obtained their practice qualifications in Australia (n = 279; 73%), while 46 (12%) replied they had received their qualification from overseas. Most respondents replied that they had obtained a Bachelor degree (n = 207; 54%) while 58 (15%) reported having a Diploma and 37 an Advanced Diploma (9%). Concerning practice characteristics, nearly 70% (n = 268) reported that they practised more than 20 hours per week, with significantly more females working fewer than 20 hours compared to males (p = 0.006). When a breakdown of the pattern of modality use was undertaken, approximately 31% (n = 121) of respondents reported using a combination of both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, while 20% (n = 77) stated they used acupuncture solely while only 0.5% (n = 2) used herbal medicine alone. The remainder used various combinations involving acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese remedial massage (Tuina) and/or Western remedial massage. Conclusion: This is the first time a survey of members of a particular Chinese medicine (CM) association has been undertaken in Australia. To further develop CM, a large scale survey needs to be undertaken to further define and establish the social de...
Walsh, S.P. & Berry, K. 2012, 'Electroacupuncture and TENS: Putting Theory into practice', The journal of the acupuncture association of chartered acupuncturists, vol. 2012, no. 1, pp. 39-54.
Electrotherapies can be a safe and effective way to alleviate pain, improve therapeutic outcomes and help patients recover more quickly from injury. This paper explains the neurophysiological mechanisms of electroacupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and outlines their methods of application for a range of conditions. when used appropriately, the integration of electrotherapies with acupuncture can broaden one's scope of clinical practice.
Smith, C.A., Zaslawski, C.J., Zheng, Z., Cobbin, D.M., Cochrane, S., Lenon, G.B., Loyeung, Y., Meier, P.C., Walsh, S., Xue, C., Zhang, T., Zhu, X. & Benosoussan, A. 2011, 'Development of an instrument to assess the quality of acupuncture: Results from a Delphi process', Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 441-452.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: Quality acupuncture influences the outcomes of clinical research, and issues associated with effective administration of acupuncture in randomized controlled trials need to be addressed when appraising studies. Objective: The study objective was to achieve consensus on domains and items for inclusion in a rating scale to assess quality acupuncture administered in clinical research. Study design and subjects: An active group of Australian acupuncture researchers initially identified a pool of items assessing quality. The Delphi consensus process was then used to select and reduce the number of items, and an additional expert panel of 42 researchers were invited to participate. Participants initially ranked items along a five-point scale for the first Delphi round, and indicated an agree or disagree response during the second round. For an item to be retained into the second round, an item had to attain greater than 80% agreement that the item described a dimension of quality acupuncture and related study design. Results: Thirty-two (32) experts agreed to participate in the study. After two rounds of the Delphi process, consensus was reached on 14 domains and 26 items relating to quality acupuncture. Domains, items, and minimum standards related to study design; rationale of the intervention; criteria relating to needling stimulation either manual or electrostimulation; duration and frequency of treatment; and practitioner training. Conclusions: Items for inclusion in an instrument to assess quality acupuncture in clinical research were identified. Further development of the instrument including relative weighting of items and reliability testing is under way.
Bilton, K.M., Walsh, S.P., Smith, N.F. & Hammer, L. 2010, 'Investigating the Reliability of Contemporary Chinese Pulse Diagnosis', Australian journal of acupuncture and Chinese medic, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 3-13.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
There have been few studies that evaluate the reliability of the clinical use of pulse diagnosis despite it being a fundamental part of Oriental medicine diagnostics. The objective of this study was to determine the levels of intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of practitioners using an operationally defined method, Contemporary Chinese Pulse Diagnosis (CCPD), to evaluate the radial pulse of volunteer subjects. The study utilised a real-life design to investigate CCPD in a clinical setting. Fifteen volunteer subjects and six testers skilled in the CCPD method were recruited. Two episodes of data collection were conducted 28 days apart as a practical test and retest. For each subject, 30 pulse categories defined by the CCPD system were assessed and reassessed by the same four testers during both phases of testing
Choy, B., Walsh, S.P. & Smith, N.F. 2010, 'The Use of Acupuncture by Chinese Medicine Practitioners in the Australian Workers Compensation System: Results of a National Survey', Australian journal of acupuncture and Chinese medic, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 14-25.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Statutory recognition of Chinese medicine (CM) practitioners and their use of acupuncture in the treatment of injured workers does not exist in most workers compensation (WC) systems throughout Australia, even though they are an accepted part of that system. Consequently, there is little data available on the use of acupuncture and the engagement of the CM profession in this system. This paper reports on the first survey study designed to provide information on the CM profession's engagement with the WC systems and their perceptions of these systems. Results: Five hundred completed surveys were returned, which represented a response rate of 25%. Results indicate that over 50% of the CM practitioners across Australia were engaging with the various WC systems and despite this engagement were also reporting varying levels of confusion and difficulties with the WC system frameworks. There was a noted relationship between the demographic information collected (as part of the survey) and a practitioner's perception of the WC systems. Overall, practitioners' experiences of the WC system were overwhelmingly negative, irrespective of their state or territory of residence; yet, 67% of respondents reported they would like to increase their WC patient load in the future.
Walsh, S.P. & Berry, K. 2010, 'Electroacupuncture and TENS: Putting theory into practice', The Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol. Feb 2010, no. 92, pp. 46-58.
Electrotherapies can be a safe and effective way to alleviate pain, improve therapeutic outcomes and help patients recover more quickly from injury. This paper explains the neurophysiological mechanisms of electroacupuncture and transcutaneous electrical
Brooks, E., Cullen, M.A., Sztynda, T. & Walsh, S.P. 2010, 'Nuclear Staining Of Telogen Hair Roots Contributes To Successful Forensic nDNA Analysis', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 115-122.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Telogen hairs have generally presented significant challenges to routine and advanced forensic nDNA typing techniques. Nuclear specific DAPI fluorescence staining of telogen hair roots introduced a method of determining the number of nuclei still present
Pulse diagnosis is widely regarded as a core component of the diagnostic framework of Chinese medicine. Such regard for pulse diagnosis is founded on the premise that pulse assessment is a clinically reliable diagnostic method. The validity of the pulse as a diagnostic tool tends to be founded on its historical roots in antiquity; because pulse diagnosis has been in use for so long, its validity is rarely questioned. Such uncritical acceptance of the information provided by classical texts (and reiterated in contemporary literature) has left the pedagogical framework for the use of pulse diagnosis compromised, and subsequently its reliability as a diagnostic tool is questionable. In many cases, the information available for practitioners is either ambiguous, lacking clear instruction on the use of pulse diagnosis, or contradictory, with different authors holding opposing views. This paper aims to clarify some of the problems associated with the use of pulse diagnosis in a modern context, and to encourage practitioners to identify misconceptions regarding pulse diagnosis, thus facilitating its use as a reliable diagnostic tool in contemporary clinical practice.
King, E.J., Walsh, S.P. & Cobbin, D.M. 2006, 'The testing of classical pulse concepts in Chinese medicine Left- and right-hand pulse strength discrepancy between males and females and its clinical implications', Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 445-450.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objectives and design: The use of the radial pulse as a diagnostic tool is an important part of the Chinese medicine (CM) clinical evaluation. This study reports the findings of an investigation into inter-arm pulse strength differences in subjects and t
The use of the radial pulse as a diagnostic tool is an integral part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) patient evaluation. In spite of its long history of use, there is little systematic information available to support the many claims about the relationship between pulse qualities and physiological condition contained in the ancient Chinese texts and echoed in modern pulse terminology. This study reports the development of a reliable means of measuring and recording pulse characteristics. This was achieved by reporting on the physical sensations that are detected under the fingertips when the radial pulse is palpated, rather than attempting to translate these into the complex and typically ambiguously defined TCM pulse qualities. The study involved development of a standardised pulse taking procedure and development of concrete operational definitions for each of the characteristics of the pulse being measured. The inter-rater reliability of the pulse taking procedure and operational definitions was assessed by determining agreement levels between two independent pulse assessors for each characteristic. Inter-rater agreement averaged 80% between the two assessors in both the initial data collection (66 subjects) and in a replication collection (30 subjects) completed two months later. Demonstrating reliability of the procedure represents an essential first step for examining the validity of TCM pulse diagnosis assumptions.
Walsh, S.H. 1989, 'The implications of cognitive psychology for computer-assisted instruction.', Methods of information in medicine, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 324-326.
An information processing model is used to describe the learning process. The implications of some of these cognitive concepts are examined in the context of computer-assisted instruction.
Berle, C., Zaslawski, C., Cobbin, D., Meier, P., Walsh, S. & Cheah, S.L. 2013, 'The effect of acupuncture treatment compared to sham laser for lateral elbow pain: a randomised controlled pilot study', Australian Journal of Acupunture and Chinese Medicine, WFAS World Federation of Acupuncture Societies, Australian Acupuncture and chinese Medicine Association, Sydney, pp. 25-32.
Background: Lateral elbow pain is a common painful musculoskeletal condition affecting approximately 1–3% of the population. Methods: A randomised participant-blinded controlled pilot study was undertaken to determine whether acupuncture could relieve pain and improve function for this condition. Twenty participants were randomly allocated to either a standardised acupuncture protocol (n= 11) or sham laser (n= 9) over ten sessions. Outcome measures were PPT test, McGill/Melzac pain, DASH and VAS pain questionnaires. Participants were evaluated at baseline, on completion of treatment (week five) and one month later. Results: There was no significant difference between the groups at baseline for any outcome parameter. There were no significant changes found at completion or one month follow-up for the PPT and VAS measures. There were significant improvements for the acupuncture group for the McGill questionnaire at week five for the affective (p= 0.01) and miscellaneous (p= 0.02) sections; week nine total score (p< 0.03), affective (p= 0.01) and miscellaneous (p= 0.01) sections; the DASH at week five for work (p= 0.02) and sport (p= 0.01) modules and week nine general (p < 0.04), work (p= 0.01) and sport (p= 0.006) modules. There were no significant changes for any outcome measure for the control group. There was no significant difference found between the two groups for blinding efficacy (expectancy/credibility scale) and experience of deqiat baseline or on completion. Conclusion: Results indicate that acupuncture may be helpful in alleviating pain and improving arm functionality, but small participant numbers preclude any definitive conclusions, a larger sufficiently powered study is required.
Walsh, S.P. & King, E. 2008, 'Clinical Pulse Diagnosis: Issues of reliability and validity', Book of Abstracts, AACMAC 2008: Australasian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Annual Conference, Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association, Star City Sydney Hotel and Casino, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia, pp. 19-19.
Zaslawski, C., Walsh, S., Deare, J. & James, J. 2016, 'Referral practices and the Australian Chinese medicine profession: Report on AACMA survey', Book of Abstracts, AACMAC 2008: Australasian Acupuncture and cghinese Medicine Annual Conference, Star City Sydney Hotel and Casino, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia, pp. 15-15.
Berry, K., Ferguson, J., Cobbin, D.M., Zaslawski, C.J., Walsh, S.P. & Meier, P.C. 2006, 'Integration fo CAM in Public Helath Care Services - A reflection on soem of the experiences from the UTS Alcohol and Other Drugs Clinical Placement Program as Rozelle Hospital', AACMA Annual Conference, Adelaide.
Ku, S.Y., Murphy, A.J., Walsh, S.P. & Watsford, M.L. 2005, 'The effects of acupuncture on recovery in team sport athletes', The Hong Kong Student Conference of Exercise Science, Health and Rehabilitation, The Hong Kong Student Conference of Exercise Science, Health and Rehabilitation, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, pp. 14-14.
Berry, K., Ferguson, J., Cobbin, D.M., Zaslawski, C.J., Walsh, S.P. & Meier, P.C. 2004, 'Acupuncture: Panacea or Placebo? An examination of the effectiveness of acupuncture as an adjunct to existing alcohol and other drug (AOD) programs', 15th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm.
Berry, K., Ferguson, J., Cobbin, D.M., Zaslawski, C.J., Walsh, S.P. & Meier, P.C. 2004, 'An Examination of the Effectiveness of Acupuncture as an adjunct to existing alcohol and other drug treatment programs', WFAS World Conference on Acupuncture.
Choi, Y.B., Cobbin, D.M. & Walsh, S.P. 2014, 'Inter-Text Comparison of Quality of Operational Definitions of Acupoint Locations, Reliability and Validity of Point Functions and Clinical Indications in Classical and Modern Texts'.
Background: Acupoint location texts present sources of
inconsistencies for point location, function and indications. Aims
This study explored inter-text variability among a set of currently
available English language point location texts and two Chinese
classical sources with respect to acupoint locations and Chinese
Medicine (CM) clinical indications for each of the 20 acupoints on
the Large Intestine (LI) channel.
Methods: Three reference texts used as benchmarks for
comparing eight contemporary acupoint location texts included
a Song Dynasty edition (circa 1070) of the earliest extant text,
the Zhen jiu jia yi jing; the Zhen jiu da cheng (1994 edition) and
the 2008 WHO Standard of Acupuncture Point Locations in the
Western Pacific Region. Inter-text comparisons included quality of
operational definitions of locations, variation in individual acupoint
locations; and CM clinical indications for each acupoint using the
Zhen jiu jia yi jing diagnostic patterns.
Results: Since 94% of all location definitions were complete,
generally texts gave reliable descriptions for locating an intended
site. However for 14 acupoints, texts defined different locations,
including minimal (LI4) or no agreement (LI14). Consensus was
limited to six acupoints on the hand and neck. Interestingly,
inter-text CM indications for individual points were unaffected by
inconsistencies in location. Discussion: There were no common
attributes across all 20 acupoints. The most frequent indications
involved ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions (14 acupoints).
Importantly, there were definite patterns of change along the
sequence from fingers to face. Points on the hand, wrist and
elbow regions had the most numerous and varied CM indications;
they concerned distal and generalised signs and symptoms and
had close relationships between three diagnostic categories:
febrile, ENT, and mania and epilepsy. Mid-channel points had
limited indications generally related to arm and shoulder pain or
Choi, Cobbin, D. & Walsh, S.P. 2013, 'Is TCM tongue examination in the doldrums: the case for modernisation'.
Method: Tongue diagnosis sits within the observation category
of examination and forms one of the four pillars of diagnosis of
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Clinical and educational
texts on tongue inspection and diagnosis focus on the appearance
of the dorsal surface of the tongue. However what is becoming
evident is that this restricted focus is not only limited, but clinically inadequate and likely to overlook significant and even potentially
fatal manifestations that are not evident on the dorsal surface
but involve instead the ventral and or lateral surfaces of the
tongue. Further, the range of diagnostic characteristics associated
with the dorsal surface described by TCM texts do not include
well documented and obvious manifestations that occur in the
general Australian population associated with local and systemic
pathology. Some features manifest with occurrence rates of
around three to ten percent and vary in their degree of potential
severity to health. TCM is in a position to impact positively and
significantly on community health care with respect to oral/
tongue conditions because the tongue is routinely examined.
This however will require improved and extended examination
and reporting of tongue features and regions. To this end a new
protocol currently being trialled at a Sydney teaching TCM clinic,
has been developed to ensure collection of detailed objective
records of patients' tongues and referral procedures as well as
developing extensive epidemiological data with in regards to
tongue conditions encountered in the clinic setting.