Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold have written on subjects as diverse as case studies and cancer care, from overviews of Chinese medicine to how Chinese medicine views the mind, from acupuncture in Cuba to the history of the Western management of breast cancer. These journal articles and chapters are available here for free download in PDF format. See a complete list of publications in Published Works.

Conversations: Eastern Medicine for Western People

This interview with Efrem and Harriet answers many questions about acupuncture. In Chinese medicine everything is linked with everything else – not just as an idea, but in actuality. Health and illness coexist and arise out of the same conditions. Disease doesn’t come from nowhere – it emerges from a lived life. Simply put: Chinese medicine not only focuses on the content (the disease), but also on the context (the person who has it). On the one hand, Chinese medicine is a method of restoration and recovery; on the other hand, it’s a systematic way of knowing, a medical epistemology that includes a method of self-exploration that helps people develop in less tangible ways than taking herbs, receiving acupuncture, or following a new diet. Complaints are what initially draw people to Chinese medicine, but what seems to keep them enrolled is that they feel they are being seen, heard, and helped within a broad frame of reference, and that everything they are and bring with them is relevant to the process.

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Chinese Traditional Medicine: An Introductory Overview

Chinese medicine holds assumptions that diverge fundamentally from those of modern Western medicine. Incorporation of what is useful from this age-old system, therefore, requires acquistion of a conceptual vocabulary foreign to our own. The ideas that form the ground of a culture are so taken for granted that, like air, water, or gravity, other legitimate systems of meaning are difficult to imagine. Appreciation of Chinese medicine involves a willingness to entertain the possibility of merit in a point of view that differs from our own.

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Chinese Medicine and Cancer Care

Since the time of its origins 3,000 years ago, Chinese medicine has been used for the treatment of tumors, identified in antiquity as liu yan, meaning lumps as hard as a rock, or as zhong yang, meaning inflamed ulcers. Over the course of millennia, various strategies emerged to reduce pain, swelling and tumor mass; to improve host resistance and enhance body competence; to potentiate the effects of conventional radiation and chemotherapies; and to prevent, control and treat the adverse effects of conventional treatment like fatigue, weakness, gastric distress, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and low white blood cells. This article explains the Chinese traditional medicine approach to cancer and reports on modern studies that demonstrate the usefulness of herbs and acupuncture in cancer care.

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Chinese Medicine and the Mind

Chinese medicine does not make absolute distinctions between what we in the West classify as the mind, the activity of the central nervous system, and the physiology of the visceral organs. Within traditional Chinese medical thinking, a person represents a field of Qi, a continuum of dynamic structures, functions, processes, sensory perceptions, and cognitive faculties that range from the gross, substantial, and visible (fluids, blood, flesh, muscles, vessels, sense organs, nerves, and bone) to the subtle, insubstantial, and invisible (sensations, perceptions, feelings, emotions, thoughts, images, and dreams). Each of the five Organ Networks (Kidney, Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung) govern all internal events and outward expressions. That is to say, how the Qi moves in each of the Organ Networks, and how those Networks interact from moment to moment, are what determine the character of our life experience. Simply stated, mental and physical health are viewed as one integrated function. This article includes many charts showing the Chinese medicine understanding of how the body is linked to the mind.

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