Oriental College
  • Shortcourses

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Short courses for inmidiate professional practice with the Oriental College.

    Read more
  • University

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Professional learning in the academic fields of chinese healthcare, medicine and sports.

    Read more
  • E-Learning

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Become a master in transcultural healthscience with our online university program, e-learning.

    Read more
  • News

    Oriental College Short Courses

    Keep being updated with news around The Oriental College. Everything about our college.

    Read more
The Oriental College

Welcome to our site program

The Oriental College offers on-site as well as on line studies. Our goal is to help develop holistic and Chinese medicines and to offer for those who are interested a program which will enrich their own life as well as the lives of others. Our study-guide will be sent to you on request.

Panic, depression and stress: The developing case against mindfulness

Mindfulness as used by modern psychologists and coaches we have always described as an imitation of meditation at the Oriental College. Now this statement is more and more often backed up by science.
Mindfulness aims at the achievement of a state of happiness to solve trauma and insecurities. Their idea is that a person can experience nirvanic states they will be able to cleans themselves and have a fresh start in life. Although they are not wrong in that statement, it is only a half truth. meditation classics usually describe nirvana as a intermediate stage, to prepare for the real meditative works. In Buddhism and Daoism meditators found that different methods have different outcome. Hinduism until recent history more or less rejected meditation, putting more faith in prayer and ritual. Yoga as a form of meditation was also rejected. Meditation is much like the scientific process. it therefore requires professional learning to achieve the deep meditation that develops new personalities based on a homeostasis of internal chemistry. After all, disruptions in internal chemistry go side by side with emotional outbursts or even psychosis and other problematic states.
In the new scientist the following is written on meditation, where no differentiation is made between mindfulness and meditation as a result of lack of understanding of the meditation process and history.
NS 3021: Panic, depression and stress: The case against meditation
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630210.500-panic-depression-and-stress-the-case-against-meditation.html
* 14 May 2015 by Miguel Farias and Catherine WikholmMiguel Farias leads the brain, belief and behaviour research group
at Coventry University, UK. Catherine Wikholm is finishing her
doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Surrey in
Guildford, UK. Their new book is The Buddha Pill: Can meditation
change you?

Meditation and mindfulness have become the new aspirin, a Buddha
pill without side effects – but not all their effects are positive,
argue two psychologists

TWITCHING, trembling, panic, disorientation, hallucinations, terror,
depression, mania and psychotic breakdown – these are some of the
reported effects of meditation. Surprised? We were too.

Techniques such as transcendental meditation and mindfulness are
promoted as ways of quieting the mind, alleviating pain and anxiety,
and even transforming you into a happier and more compassionate
person: natural cure-alls without adverse effects. But happiness and
de-stressing were not what meditation techniques, with their
Buddhist and Hindu roots, were originally developed for. The purpose
of meditation was much more radical: to challenge and rupture the
idea of who you are, shaking one’s sense of self to the core so you
realise there is “nothing there” (Buddhism) or no real
differentiation between you and the rest of the universe (Hinduism).
So perhaps it is not so surprising that these practices have
downsides.

Blissful or distressful

Take mindfulness, a technique in which you try to develop a state of
“bare awareness” by focusing on what you are feeling and thinking in
the present moment. Such meditation for 20 minutes a day is likely
to provoke mild changes in self-perception. While practising this,
you usually feel more aware of your breathing, body and thoughts.
Now imagine going on a meditation retreat and trying to extend your
focus on the flow of awareness for six or more hours a day.

This might feel blissful for some as everyday concerns dissipate,
but for others the outcome will be emotional distress,
hallucinations or perhaps even ending up in a psychiatric ward.
David Shapiro of the University of California, Irvine, found that 7
per cent of people on meditation retreats experienced profoundly
adverse effects, including panic and depression. Experience appears
to make no difference – experts and naive meditators are equally
likely to be affected.

This may all sound counter-intuitive given the many studies
published every year on the benefits of meditation, such as last
month’s report in The Lancet that mindfulness-based cognitive
therapy could be an alternative to antidepressants for preventing a
relapse of depression. Perhaps secular models of meditation such as
MBCT are safer than more spiritual types. But even so, we are no
closer to understanding the specific part of this therapy that
provides the benefit. Is it meditation itself or the cognitive
education that comes with the therapy?

And not everyone agrees about the therapeutic merits of meditation.
Albert Ellis, one of the founders of cognitive behavioural therapy
(CBT), spoke critically of the use of meditation in therapy and
argued that it should be used only as a “thought-distracting” or
“relaxing” technique. He explained that, like tranquillisers, “it
may have both good and bad effects – especially, the harmful result
of encouraging people to look away from some of their central
problems, and to refrain from disputing their disturbance-creating
beliefs”.

Another key figure in the development of CBT, Arnold Lazarus, argued
that meditation was not for everyone and reported that some of his
patients had serious disturbances after practising it.

As we scrutinised evidence on the effects of meditation and
mindfulness for our book The Buddha Pill: Can meditation change
you?, we realised that media reports were heavily biased: findings
of moderate positive effects were inflated, whereas non-significant
and negative findings went unreported. The most rigorous study so
far on the results of mindfulness therapy for recurrent depression,
conducted by Mark Williams of the University of Oxford, failed to
find any main effects: overall, people were as likely to become
depressed again whether they had MBCT or not (except if they had
suffered trauma as a child). Another study found that practising
mindfulness for 20 minutes a day resulted in higher levels of
biological stress, as measured by the hormone cortisol (despite
lower reported levels of subjective stress) than for those in the
non-meditation group. Neither finding made the headlines.

Why would meditation make you feel more stressed? There are various
reasons. Trying to focus your awareness on what you are feeling and
thinking can be a demanding cognitive exercise. Another reason that
is less well known is that when you meditate “the scum rises to the
surface”. These are the words of Swami Ambikananda Saraswati, a
charismatic meditation teacher and translator of Hindu sacred texts
who we interviewed for our book. She confided that most meditation
teachers know about this, but don’t like to discuss the intrusive
thoughts and feelings – such as sexual, sad, fearful or violent ones
– that may arise rather abruptly when you meditate.

The reason why this aspect of meditation has been neglected is not a
secret. Ideas about meditation as a panacea and a straightforward
tool for positive transformation have been around for a long time.
But in the early 1970s, when the first papers were published on the
effects of transcendental meditation in prestigious journals such as
Science, the hope that meditation might easily transform the
individual and the world started to permeate mainstream culture. The
“science of mindfulness” movement that emerged with the
popularisation of MBCT and mindfulness-based stress reduction across
health services, schools and universities has reinforced these hopes
and helped propagate a one-sided, idyllic image of meditation.

Not everyone has bought into this mantra of positivity. Historians
and religious-studies scholars have identified a relationship
between meditation and violence. Torkel Brekke of the University of
Oslo in Norway, who edited a book on Buddhism and violence,
describes Buddhist texts that explain how individuals who have
become enlightened through meditative practice may act amorally if
their actions are undertaken in a detached state of mind. Rather
than being exceptional, the association between meditation and
detached killing became the norm in Japan during the second world
war.

The historian and Zen priest Brian Victoria writes how the training
of Japanese soldiers included the use of meditation techniques to
ensure that the soldier lost his sense of self and “became” the very
order he received. This is not a modern phenomenon. Takuan, a famous
Zen master from the 1600s, wrote that “[t]he uplifted sword has no
will of its own, it is all of emptiness… The man who is about to
be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields
the sword”.

Meditating can produce powerful effects on the mind, but not all of
these are beneficial or peace-generating. The practice has become a
multimillion-pound industry, marketed as if it were the new aspirin
– a kind of Buddha pill without religious beliefs or unforeseen side
effects.

Despite popular opinion, meditation is not a panacea. The truth is
that most of us, including scientists, have beliefs about meditation
that are often naive, and have turned a blind eye to its potential
dark side. We need to change this. People who try meditation and
mindfulness should be aware of the whole range of effects associated
with these techniques and how they work differently for each of us.

The IOC is actively pursuing an awareness of what it means to be a human through its program of Transcultural Healthcare studies as well as through its program of alchemy based Chinese medicine and gongfu sports studies. All too often we warn against the effects of genetic alteration for future generations, or political or consumerist controlling of humanity through technology. To us it has become clear we need to seriously rethink the format of our future societies to prevent massive social unrest  and degradation of mental and physical health. According to an Oxford University study, 47% of US jobs could be automated within one to two decades.

Bron: The robots are here — and you should be worried

There are m,any reasons why we are against capitalism, in Healthcare especially. Have we lost sight of basic humanity, and become a society of “every man for himself”? If that’s the case, I can’t help but be depressed about the whole thing — enough so that it makes me wonder why I’m in the business that I’m in.

Bron: When Capitalism Is at Odds With Health Care

Heartsutra, self and not self in healthcare

Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty*, and so released himself from suffering.  Answering the monk Sariputra, he said this:

Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.The other four aspects of human existence —
feeling, thought, will, and consciousness —
are likewise nothing more than emptiness,
and emptiness nothing more than they.

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

So, in emptiness, there is no body,
no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears,
no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing,
no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard,
nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

All the Buddhas,
past, present, and future,
rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and live in full enlightenment.

The Perfection of Wisdom is the greatest mantra.
It is the clearest mantra,
the highest mantra,
the mantra that removes all suffering.

This is truth that cannot be doubted.
Say it so:

Gaté,
gaté,
paragaté,
parasamgaté.
Bodhi!
Svaha!

Which means…

Gone,
gone,
gone over,
gone fully over.
Awakened!
So be it!

translation: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/heartsutra.html

In Daoism the heart Sutra is an essential part of Quanzhen daoism, but Quanzhen daoism itself through for instance taiji (polarisation) practice tries to negate the concept of not self or shunyatta by developing a constructive lifestyle that does focus on Jing (constructive essence (behavioral)) through ritualisation of body form and behavior. To understand this aspect of Chinese medicine views on health and even spirituality or personality development or agency is not an easy feat.

Sunyata is often misunderstood to mean that nothing exists. This is not so. Instead, it tells us that there is existence, but that phenomena are empty of svabhava, a Sanskrit word that means self-nature, intrinsic nature, essence, or “own being.” In daoism the postion is held that the self-so (ziran) nature of things is the cause of health and transmission of one health state to another.

Although we may not be conscious of it, we tend to think of things as having some essential nature that makes it what it is. So, we look at an assemblage of metal and plastic and call it a “toaster.” But “toaster” is just an identity we project onto a phenomenon due to the tasks it performs. but the artificiality of the function in regard to its form makes the nature of the object arbitrary. There is no inherent toaster essence inhabiting the metal and plastic. this inherent toaster essence is in the want to combine stuffs to perform a certain act.

A classic story from the Milindapanha, a text that probably dates to the first century BCE, describes a dialogue between King Menander of Bactria and a sage named Nagasena. Nagasena asked the King about his chariot, and then described taking the chariot apart. Was the thing called a “chariot” still a chariot if you took off its wheels? Or its axels?

If you disassemble the chariot part by part, at exactly what point does it cease to be a chariot? This is a subjective judgment. Some might think it’s no longer a chariot once it can no longer function as a chariot. Others might argue that the eventual pile of wooden parts is still a chariot, albeit a disassembled one.

The point is that “chariot” is a designation we give to a phenomenon; there is no inherent “chariot nature” dwelling in the chariot. The same trick can be applied to a human being. but what daoism does it reverses the proces, it actually enhances the function and form of things so that they beceme so intrinsically self-so linkerd that they self-so are maintained, live forever. In doing so they follow the propositions set out by the Huangdineijing , now some 26oo years ago. It still is the essential principle from which Chinese medicine ought to be understood. Health is not generated by what one ingests, but in how one shapes oneself and how one ingests.

Other cultures likewise offer different viewpoints on the nature of being human.

(on shunyata: http://buddhism.about.com/od/whatistheself/a/Sunyata-Or-Emptiness.htm, from this text i reworked some part of the text into a counter argument)

In Daoism a minimalist approach to life is propagated: talk less, sleep less, own less, eat less etc. Huangdineijing says that a lifestyle like that produces health and happiness. So what is this minimalism thing? It’s quite simple: to be a minimalist you must live with less than 100 things, you can’t own a car or a home or a television, you can’t have a career, you must live in exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world, you must start a blog, you can’t have children, […]

Bron: What Is Minimalism? – The Minimalists

The study of medicine and martial arts in China depends on the study of history. Fifty year ago, a rare and unusual sword was found in a tomb in China. Despite being well over 2,000 years old, the sword, known as the Goujian, did not have a single trace of rust.  The blade dr

Bron: Goujian: The Ancient Chinese Sword that Defied Time

In Chinese Medicine study of Confucianism and Daoism and their classics are indispensable to understand its conceptualization of nature, the body, disease and health. Study of Organisation is likewise important, for instance the form of democracy Daoists are being organized in. It reveals their view of the body, among other things. The news is this: China Taoist Association elects new head—Li Guangfu was elected chairman of China Taoist Association (CTA), the CTA announced Monday after its four-day national congress ended.

source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-06/29/c_134366386.htm

Mindfulness is at the root of Asian styles of life experience for the adult person. In fact Mindfulness was considered one of the tools to achieve adulthood. Both Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism developed styles of Mindfulness. The first focus’ on aesthetics and morality, the second on finding and developing the root of life and everlasting life, and the third to find the mental calmth to accept suffering as a normal thing of life. Both Daoism and Confucianism did not accept the four noble truths. Therefore in the IOC program we offer alternative forms of mindfulness. Still it is interesting to investigate how mindfulness became part of modern therapy. It has become a way to accept suffering as a hope for natural curing.

the following link points to an item about Dr. Daniel J. Siegel on what makes mindfulness so beneficial to our health, psyche, and overall quality of life.

from www.health.cmi.com, USA

Acupuncture reduces intestinal inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease, reverses tissue damage, and improves the quality of life. Until now, how acupuncture achieves these results has gone unanswered. Acupoints treated for Crohn's disease on the abdomen.   Researchers sought to solve this mystery and came up with concrete answers. With the help of immunohistochemistry, researchers discovered how acupuncture works for these patients.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, intestinal obstructions, abdominal masses, fatigue, nausea, mouth ulcers, and many other disruptions of the gastrointestinal system. Demographically, it disproportionately affects Scandinavians and Ashkenazim Jewish people. Crohn’s disease often affects the colon, anus, and terminal ileum (the distal aspect of the small intestine connecting to the cecum). Deep intestinal ulcerations with a patchy distribution throughout the gastrointestinal system help to distinguish Crohn’s disease from ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease has a serpiginous distribution of inflammation whereas ulcerative colitis has a contiguous distribution of inflammation.

Acupuncture and moxibustion have been shown to improve CDAI (Crohn’s Disease Activity Index) scores in modern research. CDAI scores are a method of measuring clinical responses to medicine and medical procedures by quantifying responses and remissions of Crohn’s disease. The researchers note that studies show that acupuncture improves CDAI scores, quality of life, increases hemoglobin levels, and reduces CRP levels for Crohn’s disease patients.

CRP (C-reactive protein) is determined by a blood test and quantifies inflammation levels. High levels indicate inflammation, often due to infections and chronic disease. The research demonstrates that acupuncture significantly lowers CRP levels for Crohn’s disease patients. With the help of an Olympus flourescent microscope, the researchers learned how acupuncture and moxibustion induce a powerful anti-inflammatory response in human patients with Crohn’s disease.

A confirmation of acupuncture and moxibustion’s benefits became apparent in a before and after intestinal biopsy comparison. Prior to acupuncture and moxibustion, patients had a significantly elevated level of giant, multinucleated cells in granulomas. Inflammatory and necrotic cells infiltrated the center of the granulomas. The mucosa epithelium was either damaged or completely absent. Lymphocytes infiltrated the lamina propria and intestinal glands were damaged. The glands contained necrotic, inflammatory, and multinucleated giant cells. After acupuncture and moxibustion, significant improvements were documented. The researchers note that the “intestinal mucosal epithelium was intact, the intestinal glands were reorganized, and less inflammatory cells infiltrated.”

The researchers carefully mapped the biological mechanisms regulated by acupuncture and moxibustion that achieved successful clinical results. What they discovered was that acupuncture and moxibustion induce a homeostatic response on the cellular level. Acupuncture and moxibustion relieved intestinal inflammation by regulating the ratio of inflammatory response cells. Proinflammatory Th17 cells and anti-inflammatory Treg cells were restored to normal levels and intestinal inflammation subsequently reduced. The researchers note this “study shows that moxibustion and acupuncture can reduce the number of Th17 cells and downregulate the expression of Th17-related molecules IL-17 and RORγt and increase the number of Treg cells and upregulate the expression of Treg transcription factor FOXP3 in the intestinal mucosa of CD (Chron’s disease) patients.” They add, “The present study showed that moxibustion and acupuncture can regulate and restore the balance between Th17 and Treg cells in intestinal mucosa of patients with CD.”

The randomized study compared the results of acupuncture and moxibustion against a sham-placebo control group to ensure the validity of the results. Imaging, endoscopy, and histopathological exams confirmed the results. The research team shared the exact acupuncture and moxibustion procedures used to achieve clinical success. First, let’s look at the cellular changes induced by acupuncture and moxibustion. Next, we go over the exact acupuncture and moxibustion treatment protocol that helped the patients.

Citing Hovhannisyan et al., the researchers note, “An imbalance between Th17 and Treg cells constituted a key step in the disruption of intestinal homeostasis and is one of the major contributors to the development and progression of CD (Crohn’s disease).” TH17 (T helper 17) cells exert proinflammatory responses while Tregs (regulatory T cells, suppressor T cells) exert anti-inflammatory responses, especially in the case of auto-immune disorders. Crohn’s disease, which is often understood as an autoimmune disease, is characterized by unregulated proinflammatory responses. The study documents that acupuncture and moxibustion regulate the cells thereby balancing proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses. Visualization of the intestines and stomach.

The RORγt protein promotes differentiation of cells into proinflammatory Th17 cells. TH17 cells secrete proinflammatory cytokines including IL-17, which creates powerful proinflammatory responses. This causes neutrophils to migrate towards infections as part of the inflammatory cascade. Acupuncture and moxibustion downregulate IL17, RORγt, and TH17 cells.

The researchers add that “Th17 cells are the major contributor to inflammation in CD (Crohn’s disease)” and IL-17 is positively correlated with Crohn’s disease severity. This study demonstrates that acupuncture and moxibustion “reduced the number of TH17 cells and inhibited the expression of TH17-related molecules IL-17 and RORγt in the intestinal mucosa. It also increased the number of Treg cells and the expression of Treg-specific transcription factor FOXP3, thus restoring the ratio of the two cell types.”

The researchers note that “a reduction in the number or function of Treg cells might be a major cause of the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease. Tregs can suppress intestinal mucosal inflammation induced by innate or acquired immunity. FOXP3 and IL-2 promote the differentiation of Treg cells. Reduced numbers of Treg cells and deficiency in their function can cause damage in the intestinal mucosa, resulting in CD (Crohn’s disease).” Tregs can inhibit the proliferation of Th cells and subsequent production of inflammatory factors although they may differentiate into Th17 cells in other instances. Research demonstrates that reduced Tregs and FOXP3 in the bloodstream are correlated with Crohn’s disease. Moreover, the ratio of Treg to Th17 cells both in the intestinal mucosa and peripheral bloodstream is reduced in patients with Crohn’s disease. The researchers note that “restoring the balance between these cells is essential for the treatment of intestinal inflammation in CD.” Acupuncture and moxibustion restored the balance between these cells and testing also revealed significant positive patient clinical improvements.

Treatment
Acupuncture was administered at the following acupoints:

  • Zusanli (ST36)
  • Shangjuxu (ST37)
  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)
  • Taixi (KI3)
  • Gongsun (SP4)
  • Taichong (LR3)

The acupuncture needles were 0.30 mm x 25 – 40 mm. Needle depth was between 20 – 30 mm and manual acupuncture techniques were used to elicit the de qi response. Needle retention time was 30 minutes. Both acupuncture and moxibustion were administered three times per week for 12 weeks for a grand total of 36 acupuncture combined with moxibustion sessions.

Moxibustion was administered at the following acupoints:

  • Tianshu (ST25)
  • Qihai (CV6)
  • Zhongwan (CV12)

Moxa cones of a 16 mm height and a 17 mm diameter were placed atop of an herb cake. Two moxa cones were burned on the herbal cakes place atop of each acupoint. The herbal cakes formed from a paste made from a fine herbal powder mixed with maltose and water. The paste was used to form the 28 mm diameter x 5 mm height cakes made primarily of the following herbs:

  • Coptis chinensis (Huang Lian)
  • Radix Aconiti Lateralis (Fu Zi, aconite)
  • Cortex Cinnamomi (Rou Gui, cinnamon bark)
  • Radix Aucklandiae (Mu Xiang)
  • Flos carthami (Hong Hua, saffron)
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza (Dan Shen)
  • Angelica sinensis (Dang Gui)

Patients with Crohn’s disease are often treated with corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, aminosalicylates, and anti-TNF-alpha medications. This research demonstrates that acupuncture combined with herb-partitioned moxibustion is another helpful treatment regime for patients with Crohn’s disease. In addition, the research has measured how acupuncture and moxibustion affect cellular responses and secretions to reduce intestinal inflammation for patients with Crohn’s disease. The Healthcare Medicine Institute offers an acupuncture continuing education course on the treatment of colitis, Crohn’s disease, and chronic appendicitis. This includes acupuncture and herbal medicine protocols. The online course is accepted by the NCCAOM for PDA credit and in the USA and Canada for acupuncture CEU credit.
References:
Zhao, Chen, Chunhui Bao, Jing Li, Yifang Zhu, Siyao Wang, Ling Yang, Yin Shi et al. “Moxibustion and Acupuncture Ameliorate Crohn’s Disease by Regulating the Balance between Th17 and Treg Cells in the Intestinal Mucosa.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2015).

Bao, Chun-Hui, Ji-Meng Zhao, Hui-Rong Liu, Yuan Lu, Yi-Fang Zhu, Yin Shi, Zhi-Jun Weng et al. “Randomized controlled trial: Moxibustion and acupuncture for the treatment of Crohn’s disease.” World journal of gastroenterology: WJG 20, no. 31 (2014): 11000.

Z. Hovhannisyan, J. Treatman, D. R. Littman, and L. Mayer, “Characterization of interleukin-17-producing regulatory T cells in inflamed intestinal mucosa from patients with inflammatory bowel diseases,” Gastroenterology, vol. 140, no. 3, pp. 957–965, 2011.

– See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1478-acupuncture-anti-inflammatory-crohn-s-disease-discovery#sthash.J3BBJekU.dpuf

The IOC is actively pursuing an awareness of what it means to be a human through its program of Transcultural Healthcare studies as well as through its program of alchemy based Chinese medicine and gongfu sports studies. All too often we warn against the effects of genetic alteration for future generations, or political or consumerist controlling of humanity through technology. To us it has become clear we need to seriously rethink the format of our future societies to prevent massive social unrest  and degradation of mental and physical health. According to an Oxford University study, 47% of US jobs could be automated within one to two decades.

Bron: The robots are here — and you should be worried – Business Insider