An Acupuncture Case History
by Dr. Jin Shu Bai
Zhen Jiu Zhi Liao Jing Shen Bing
Acupuncture Treatments for Mental Diseases
(Page 9, Case #1)
Sung XX XX, Female, Age 32, worker.
Initial examination date: 4 September 1970.
Acupuncture Research Clinic patient number: 1
In 1961 the patient had emotional pressures and developed the symptoms of great hesitation, fear, and faint auditory hallucinations. At the municipal mental health hospital she was diagnosed as having “schizophrenia;” after three months of treatment she improved and was discharged from the hospital. But she had relapses and the disease became chronic. At times she felt that someone was terrorizing her and that no matter what happened it was related to her; this made here terrified and uncertain and she had unsettled spirit and thoughts. During the early stages of the Cultural Revolution her family was attacked and she became very pessimistic, negative, and hesitant; she developed auditory hallucinations and other abnormal mental symptoms that gradually became more serious. She again went to the out-patient clinic at a mental hospital, and was continuously treated with large doses of chlorpromazine for over four years. There was no improvement in her symptoms, and every day her reflection/cognizance was becoming steadily more confused.
Diagnostic observations: The patient had a fat figure and dull essence-spirit; she was oblivious to her surrounding environment and apathetic emotionally. She would not actively speak to people or ask questions, and she had slow verbal responses to questions, passive behavior, relatively poor memory, and slow thought processes. Her intellectual capacity had declined and she had little ambition. The patient had not had a menstrual period for two years. The tongue fur was white and slimy, while the pulse reading was deep and fine.
Identification of Pattern: Depressed and binding heart and spleen, and phlegm clouding the heart portals (Schizophrenia).
Treatment Principles: Course depression, open portals, and sweep phlegm.
Treatment Stage #1:
Point selection: Si Shen Cong, bilateral Nei Guan, and bilateral Tong Li (HT-5).
Hand Methods: The four Shen Cong are located one cun in front, back, and to both sides of Bai Hui (GV-20). Insert the needles directed toward joining Bai Hui, and retain them only briefly. Use Nei Guan and Tong Li in alternation, with lots of needle spinning.
From the day acupuncture began, [the patient was given] gradually reduced dosages of chlorpromazine.
After the above phase of treatment the patient could already speak and laugh. She had a lively spirit, and had returned to half-time work. Her only difficulties were excessive dreaming at night, and lack of menstruation.
Treatment Stage #2:
Point Selection: Yin Tang (M-HN-3) joined to Xin Chu (Heart Region), He Gu (LI-4), and San Yin Jiao (SP-6).
By the latter part of this stage, the patient’s chlorpromazine dosages had already been reduced to maintenance levels. (Each evening 50 milligrams were administered.) Moreover, the patient’s period had returned. While she was still undergoing acupuncture it was discovered that she was pregnant. After an abortion, she rested for two weeks and then an examination showed she was mentally normal, and had happily returned to full time work.
Comment: In this case the patient was constitutionally fat, with phlegm congesting, because of emotions that were not outthrusting, as well as cowardice and doubt, which resulted in depressed and binding heart and spleen. In addition, because of taking tranquilizing drugs for many years, there was no allowance for phlegm and drool to be coursed and discharged, so the clear yang was clouded. The illness then developed from hallucinations and delusions to confused consciousness, and feeble-mindedness [like a wood chicken(?)]. The combination of pulse and symptoms conformed to the saying from the Nan Jing “With heavy yin there is withdrawal.”
In the first stage of treatment, the extraordinary points Si Shen Cong were chosen to remove turbid, raise the clear, and perfuse portals. Nei Guan, the connecting point of the hand reverting yin pericardium channel, along with Tong Li, the connecting point of the hand minor yin heart channel, were used in combination to open and disinhibit the heart qi, to loosen the chest and resolve depression. These treatments made the patient’s spirit more agile with every day, put a smile on her face, and allowed her to actively speak with others. Under the circumstances of those outstanding changes and improvements, for the second phase of treatment Yin Tang joined to Xin Chu (face acupuncture) was selected to quiet and tranquilize the heart and spirit. He Gu and San Yin Jiao were chosen to regulate construction and hasten menstruation. At the same time the patient was given half-time work. During the course of the disease there were 64 treatments, and other observation lasted for one-half year. The use of chlorpromazine went from large quantities at the beginning to only maintenance dosages at the end. After two years of amennorhea the menstruation was restored, and the patient even became pregnant (which was terminated with an abortion). Her essence-spirit and physical health were normal, and in the end she happily returned to her work position.