Case Study 2

Case Study 2

by Alistair Booth (2015)


Male 24 years old. This patient works in the hospital, but his actual role was unclear.

This young man had been around during the project last year (2014) and had kept on appearing in a different role in the clinic rooms.  When team members tried to establish who he was or if he worked for the hospital, they were told that he had a violent temper, was easily provoked and therefore the hospital staff would take responsibility for him. He was asked not to come to the acupuncture clinic however he still turned up in the clinic room in different roles, one day as a translator another as a patient though he never accepted treatment.

In 2015 on our return we found him to be working in the hospital, he was given a task within the acupuncture project and he asked for acupuncture treatment.

Aetiology and pathology

His mother died when he was 17. Following her death he closed down emotionally for about 4 years. After that he became psychotic, aggressive and unsociable. He had suffered from stress, depression, overthinking, short temper and insomnia. In the last 2 years and he had also suffered from bouts of uncontrollable speech. He had dark eyes and was unable to make eye contact or smile. In fact when I tried to smile at him, his demeanour was aggressive and he appeared to feel threatened by my smile.

He was taking anti-psychotic drugs though we were not able to determine what

The pulse was rapid and both sides were empty on the surface level and slippery and deep. The tongue was flabby with a yellow coat.

The aetiology as described above shows an excess heat in the Heart and in the blood, probably phlegm misting the Heart and Heart and Kidney being disconnected.


The treatment principle in the first two treatments was to clear heat, calm the Shen and reconnect Heart and Kidney. On his second treatment he reported better sleep and feeling calmer. The pulses were still rapid, but fuller on the left and wiry on the right.

On the 3rd treatment which was 3 days later, he again appeared calmer and said he felt better after the treatment.

To those of us working around him, his behaviour seemed calmer and he was working well under pressure within the clinic organisation. He appeared happier in himself and his eyes looked less dark and he had a less menacing look about him.

For the 4th treatment, a back treatment was given, working on the sprit points on the back. The change in his condition was markedly improved.

The 5th and final treatment took a slightly different course and was simplified to connecting Heart and Kidney using a protocol discussed by the team during a debriefing session over dinner. The treatment included Ren 15 and Kid 9.


The patient reported that he had slept well since the first treatment, and was feeling calmer. The behaviour and attitude of the patient over the 10 days showed a marked improvement. This was clear for everyone in the project to observe; i.e. he had started smiling and interacting normally and was able to hold eye contact. He appeared much calmer and happier and his eyes were brighter.

On the day following his final treatment, I asked him how he was feeling and he turned to me, smiled, and said “angry”.  This was at odds with his actual behaviour and attitude on that day. If he was angry then he had at least become more settled with his moods and better able to cope with them! It also suggested more self awareness which could only be valuable to him.

Unfortunately, this patient had just 5 treatments out of a possible 6 and it is likely more progress could have been made with the aim of continuing to clear heat ,calm the Shen and maybe focusing more on the Liver.

Hopefully he will return when a team goes back this year in November 2016, and we can monitor his progress further.