Kampo Treatment for Climacteric Disorders
by Shibata Yoshiharu, M.D. and Jean Wu

The menopause is a normal part of human life that often involves functional changes that are uncomfortable and often life-disrupting. It is also a time in life when East Asian women have been able to turn to traditional remedies for relief. In this text Dr. Shibata presents a far more comprehensive view of menopausal disorders, their pathomechanisms and treatment through Kampo medicines. The late Dr. Shibata was one of Japan's great clinical masters, univserally respected for his insights and outstanding clinical results. See the review by Dan Kenner following for further detail.

Kampo is more than a traditional medicine imported from China. It has fully-integrated with the Japanese health care system and has continually accommodated the needs of the Japanese people. In Japan the scientific revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries encouraged a flood of Western medicines and information. Thus Japanese traditional medicine consistently adapted to the same trends that molded medicine in the West.

Although Japan has a highly sophisticated pharmaceutical industry, and no economic need for traditional medicines, Kampo's role in Japan has nonetheless increased. Since the development of extract preparations in the 1950s and insurance payments in the 1970s, popular demand has lead Japanese physicians to research effective Kampo treatments for chronic degenerative conditions, as well as the comorbidity that attends an aging population.

Japanese experience with the integration of traditional medicine can be eminently instructive for the West and conditions associated with the menopause are among those most commonly treated. Kampo's concern with individual variations is especially pertinent because of the variation of symptoms among patients. Thus, many gynecologists in Japan consider Kampo as either substitute or addition to a conventional treatment. Among the 70% of Japanese gynecologists who utilize Kampo, 90% prescribe it for their climacteric patients. This book was born out of the desire to introduce to the West an effective therapy with few side effects that is suitable for the long term administration often association with menopause-related disorders.

Dr. Yoshio Shibata's experience is among the most valuable. His career as a radiologist and Kampo practitioner spans four decades and includes service as a founder of the Japanese Society for Oriental medicine. He is the author of research on the prevention of cancer and prepared the largest compendia of prescriptions to have appeared in the history of Kampo, a concise reference to 1,000 formulas compiled from classical sources. Jean Wu investigated Kampo at the the Harvard School of Public Healthy where she received a S.M. in Health Policy and Management.

A Reader's Review

For those of us who knew Dr. Shibata, we are grateful to have anything of his vast knowledge of botanical medicine recored. He was without doubt one of the great masters of modern times. The theoretical structure of Kampo does not yield easily to didactic instruction, and Jean Wu has done a superb job of making it clear to the practitioner or student of oriental medicine. Everything in the book is of practical value. Everything that requires explanation is well explained. Her language is concise and also readily accessible to the conventionally-trained health care practitioner.

The importance of KampoI as a method of east Asian clinical phytotherapy has not yet been fully appreciated. I believe that as more oriental practitioners gain clinical experience, appreciation of this treasure chest of insight from many generations of Japanese clinical masters will grow. This book is a good example of how it should be presented. Hopefully, future work in the explication of Kampo will ahere to similar standards of precision and clarity.

Dan Kenner

(Note to readers: Dan is the author of Botanical Medicine which can be examined at this site)

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Publication Date: February, 1997
Paperback; 266 pages; 7 x 10; $59.95
This is the largest and most accessible clinical repetory for menopause-related conditions.
With illustrations of abdominal diagnoses, differentiation tables, references, Appendices for Cautions List, Directory of US. Distributors, a Glossary of Technical Terms, Bibliography, and Index.
ISBN 0-912111-51-8
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