Chunlan Hong – TCM and PTSD

Therapeutic Intervention in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with Chinese Medicine 

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a disease typically caused by boundary experiences, like earthquakes, wars, terrorist actions and so on, which can cause great harm to the health of the body, a wrong understanding of temporality, and a disorder of mind and body.

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) has rich a theory and offers a great application for the treatment of chronic diseases and psychological disorders because of its special philosophical concept and view about the relationship between nature and life, mind and body. TCM can be combined with western medicine.

Objective and methods:
My project is an application of TCM to posttraumatic stress disorder. I will approach my topic through a life writing part and a life science part. In the life writing part, I will introduce TCM through the classical work “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon”, which is most famous text of traditional Chinese medicine and which features the essence of TCM theory. I will focus on its reflection on western philosophy, such as temporality, capability, and corporality. The aim of this work is to prove the ethical role of Chinese medicine.

In the life science part, I will consult literature, in which the effectiveness of herb formulas or compounds is reported. I will test one formula with a life science experiment to find out its effectiveness on posttraumatic stress disorder. With this experiment, I hope to prove the impact of Chinese medicine.

Outlook and relevance:
This thesis will widen our understanding of the relations between the humanities and medicine and offer new and different insights into mind and body by introducing and analyzing TCM-based theories and philosophical views. Furthermore, it will provide us with a new way of thinking to combine western medicine and Chinese medicine to solve complex medical issues, such as PTSD.


Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Thomas Efferth and Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung




(1) Thomas Efferth, Mita Banerjee, Alfred Hornung. “Therapeutic Intervention of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder by Chinese Medicine: Perspectives for Transdisciplinary Cooperation Between Life Sciences and Humanities.” Medicine Studies. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013.

(2) Xian-ZeMeng, FengWu, Pin-KangWei, Li-Juan Xiu, et al. „A Chinese Herbal Formula to Improve General Psychological Status in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial on Sichuan Earthquake Survivors.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012


Author: Chunlan Hong