Traditional Chinese Medicine Criminology
- Being Frenzied and Being Healthy in Body and Mind

Harmonious society function series

Traditional Chinese Medicine Criminology (Officially named by Dr. Wei Quan LONG on Jan 3, 2012) is a brand new discipline studying crime prevention. It mainly takes in-depth study on criminal problems as a disease, and focuses on solving it with the attitude and method of preventing and treating a disease. It aims at nipping the crime in the bud, preventing the crime before it happens, in a forward-looking, holistic, proactive and comprehensive perspective. Traditional Chinese Medicine crime prevention is a brand-new theory and branch of TCM Psychology and TCM Psychiatry. It is a whole new level of life science. It can prevent and resolve social conflicts effectively.

Criminal behaviour is a pathological manifestation of strong appetites and desires resulting from physical and mental imbalance. Profoundly negative emotions could occur if a person’s appetites and desires are not met for a long time. A long existing dissatisfaction may lead the person to commit crimes in order to compensate and satisfy their pathological needs. Therefore, the traditional Chinese medicine criminology is an inevitable discipline.

Crime is an illness or part of an illness showing the physical and mental imbalance. That being the case, it is within the scope of traditional Chinese medicine, meaning that it can surely be prevented and treated.

Murderers, rapists, robbers and other violent offenders mostly have serious physical imbalance, which reach the most serious level when they take the risk and commit the crime. Some criminals have a natural potential to commit violent crimes. This is a congenital disease. Many violent criminals embarked on a road of no return due to adverse environmental impact. This is acquired disease. In fact, some criminals started to have physical and mental abnormalities as early as when they were in kindergartens.

In his book "The Personality of Psychopathy" published in 1940, German psychiatrist K. Schneider made the detailed analysis on the ties between various abnormal personalities and criminal behaviours. He found out several abnormal personalities that cause crimes easily as follows: ⑴ The weak-willed: Such people lack resistance to the temptation of the outside world. They are vulnerable to others' temptations to commit crime. ⑵ The emotionally deficient: They lack shame, pity, compassion, sense of honour, conscience and other noble emotions. They are cold and shameless. ⑶ The exploder: They are easily affected by external stimuli to rage and assault others violently. ⑷ The excited: They are easily excited and agitated. They are careless and impatient. They are easy to dispute with others. ⑸ The self displayer: They are very vain. They want to show off all the time, disregard the occasion and the methods. ⑹ The paranoid: They stubbornly insist on the wrong opinions and beliefs against social norms, and they put their wrong believes into action. ⑺ The volatile: They are unpredictable. Their emotions change frequently in a day. They are difficult to understand. ⑻ The weak: They lack sense of dignity. They can't take the pressure from the outside world and often yield to other people against their own will and do things they know they shouldn't do. ⑼ The self-abased: They have extremely low self-esteem. They deny their own ability, knowledge and experience. They don't believe that they can live normally without depending on others or make a living through illegal means. ⑽ The depressed: They are always depressed and negative, seeing everything happening as something bad to themselves. Their actions are controlled thereby.

British scientists have found that the brain structure of psychopaths is significantly different from that of normal people, and the extent of brain abnormalities is clearly tied to the degree of psychopathy. Studies on psychopaths who have committed murders, massacres, multiple rapes, strangulation and illegal imprisonment showed that the connecting path between two important parts in their brain - the amygdala in control of their emotional memories and the orbitofrontal cortex in control of their impulses and decision making - is "bumpy", while the connecting path of normal people is in better condition. (It is found previously that the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex of psychopaths are different from those of the normal people in their structures and functions).

Consigned by German government, German scientist Gerhard Roth in Bremen studied violent criminals for years. He further found that the brain scans of offenders show a cluster of black blocks. He commented that the "evil block" is located in the brain lobe, appearing as a cluster of black blocks in the X-ray. He said, "We showed short video clips to these people and measured their brain waves. Subjects showed no mood swings when cruel and obscene scenes were shown. Their brain regions producing sympathy and sorrow have completely no activity." He also said, “When you saw the brain scans of these ruthless criminals, you would find that their front brain was almost inadequate seriously.” However, the brain has a compensation mechanism to compensate their violent tendency, of which the operation still remains a mystery. Roth added that young people with development obstacles at the bottom of their front brain are "66% likely to become criminals". Roth put criminals into three categories: ① Criminals who are psychologically well, but grew up in an environment in which "beating, stealing or killing are fine". ② Criminals who are mentally ill. They believe everything outside is threat. "Whenever something goes wrong, he explodes and becomes a murderer". ③ Pure psychopaths, such as extremists like Hitler.

American criminal psychologist Titus said: "The society should acknowledge that if we wish to establish an attitude towards criminal psycholology, an attitude based on both the social science and natural scientific methods, that is also combined with latest achievements in physiology, medical science and psychology, our criminal psychology will appear by end of 20th century in an unprecedented form.

The studies of psychological problems of criminals have long been recorded in ancient Chinese history books. In 11th century BC, Zhou Gongdan raised his own opinion regarding the psychological causes and criminal motives of offenders. In the Spring and Autumn Period, the philosophers' debate about good and evil is in fact an investigation of the causes forming criminal minds. Mencius believed that everyone had a heart of "compassion", "shame" and "justice". He believed that it was the influence of the environment that caused wrong doings of people. He said: "In a good year, people are mostly lazy. In a bad year, people are mostly violent." Xuncius believed that people were born with the nature of "loving benefits", "hating the evil" and "desiring lust". Only by legal education, that is to follow the education of social norms, regulations and laws, can people stop committing evil. In early Western Han Dynasty, Dong Zhongshu proposed the theory of "three grades of human nature". It believes that "saints" are naturally good“, "narrow-minded people" are naturally bad, while the ordinary people can do both good and evil. The key is to educate them and to threaten them with punishment.

Traditional Chinese medicine criminology (please note that there is no "psychology" included in the term) involves traditional Chinese medical treatment directly without involving psychological analysis. It is a straightforward, efficient and effective method tested by practices. All airy theories are boring and empty! The modern criminal psychology theory is perfect yet lack of actual effects. For almost a hundred years, the theoretical discussions are of great length, covering specific theories and general theories, yet they are all limited to discussions. Someone commits a crime, often because of the imbalance of his health. When lesions and injuries occur at a certain area, which can be detected with existing instruments, the illness is in fact too serious and too late to cure. The better chance lies in something that can’t be probed by current technology, as is meridians and acupuncture points. Not all mental illness can be diagnosed early, but in fact sometimes the illness or evil thoughts are already lurking or sprouting.

All in all, we can put it into one sentence - physical and mental imbalance!

If one’s mentality is not balanced, there will be greed, jealousy, hatred, crime, war and slaughter, etc. (When a normal people is imbalanced, we see hatred and crimes. When a governor’s mentality is not balanced, we see wars and slaughters.)

In Chinese medical point of view, these imbalances can all be summarised as physical and mental health problems, including the deteriorating heart. People's thinking is related to health. Bad health will cause bad mentality. This is the same everywhere in the world. Now the world is mostly inflicted by sub-health and disease. People who are sick of course will have sick thoughts and thoughts of illness. Once our body becomes healthy, our mind will become healthy too. We will no longer see things with a fixed mind. We will be calmer and more peaceful. We will have happy family, harmonious society and a peaceful world!

Using Devil’s staircase to deduce actions of serial killers is one of the most typical cases (American researches found out that it was possible to predict the next step of serial killers. The research pointed out that the time sequence for serial killer to commit killing are very close to the mathematical formula of Devil’s staircase). The research result can help the police deduce the approximate time of the killer’s next crime and thus solve the case as early as possible. Mathematicians Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury studied Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo as an individual case. He killed at least 53 people from 1978 to 1990, mostly women and children. The research firstly displayed Chikatilo’s killings in 12 years in line chart to analyse his criminal behavior. The chart lacked regularity. For example, the shortest interval between two killings was three days while the longest was over two years. Thereby the line chart showed the shape of a staircase, which was then called as Devil’s staircase. They further analysed the time distribution of the killings with the line chart, and found out that the time distribution of the killings was close to the time distribution of seizure outbreaks. Both of them followed a mathematical equation. They then deduced that when the serial killer committed crime, it was similar to a seizure outbreak, when some neural units in his brain exploded together and stimulated the killer to kill.) If we can treat the seizure, we will never have serial killers and we will never need to hunt serial killers! Similarly, when people are healthy in body and mind, they will naturally become compassionate and loving …

Traditional Chinese medicine has recognized the close relations between people’s mental and spiritual activities and the functions of their organs for as long as several thousand years (people have seven emotions in the mental activity category, including emotional changes such as happiness, anger, thinking, worry, sorrow, fear and shock). The occurrence of mental illness can be caused by all sorts of reasons, but psychological factors still remain as one of main causes. Emotional activities are in its nature a mental reaction of human body to external environment. Normally, occasional emotional fluctuations will not cause illness. However, once the fluctuations exceed a certain level without restraint, or long-term negative emotions cause excessive stress, affecting body’s Yin, Yang, Qi and blood balance and flow, causing disordered Qi and blood functions, people’s health will be influenced. The disordered organ functions will cause illness and incur abnormal emotional and mental activities. This is what we called mental illness. If someone thinks and worries too much, the worrying thoughts will tangle Qi and damage heart and spleen. This will cause disordered Qi and blood and incur illness. Seven emotions are closely related to people’s five organs, especially the physical and pathological changes of five organs. Happiness is connected to heart. Anger is connected to liver. Thinking is connected to spleen. Worry and sorrow are connected to lung. Fear and shock are connected to kidney. Under normal circumstances, body’s Yin and Yang are balanced, ensuring the normal functions of the body. Just as “Plain Questions – Theory of Lifting Pains” pointed out: “All diseases are generated from Qi. Anger makes one’s Qi rise. Happiness slows one’s Qi down. Sorry diminishes Qi. Fear lower Qi…Shock messes up Qi…Thinking tangles Qi.” Seven emotions belong to five organs and are controlled by five organs. When one’s too emotional, five organs will be damaged. In turn, the strength and weakness of Qi in organs, or the imbalance in the flow of Qi and blood, will also cause blocked emotions. For example, people with insufficient blood supply in their liver are easy to get frustrated and angry. People with weak spleen and stomach are easy to become sad and worried. Therefore, although mental illness is mainly induced by psychological factors, the strength and weakness of five organs are the pathological basis of the illness.

  1. Happiness: belongs to heart. Heart can express people’s happiness. Heart can control blood. When one is happy, the Qi and blood flow quicker. The complexion becomes healthier. The ability to resist coldness and illness improves. The chance of having cardiocerebral vascular diseases becomes lower.
  2. Anger: belongs to liver. Liver can express people’s anger. Anger is an emotion expressed mainly in the form of stress when individual will and activities are frustrated or one fails to achieve certain goal. Anger can be positive, meaning that it can have positive impact on people and society. In prewar motivations, we need to encourage soldiers’ morale, including the stimulation of soldiers’ hatred and anger towards the enemy, which will turn into huge fighting power in the battle. Anger can also be negative, meaning that it can have negative impact on people and society. Temporary and light anger can help one to unleash suppressed emotions and relieve from stress and anxiety. It is helpful for channeling people’s Qi and maintaining the balance within our body.
  3. Thinking: belong to spleen. People’s thinking is mainly expressed through spleen. Thinking is highly concentrated thinking and scheming. When people are thinking or worrying, they usually lose taste and appetite when eating. Some women can have menstruation and menstrual disorders, etc., due to stressful work and highly concentrated thinking. This is consistent to the function of spleen to control blood.
  4. Worry (sorrow): belongs to lung. After careful observation of patients, ancient doctors found that lung is the main organ expressing worry, sorrow and sadness. When someone cries for sorrow, he/she would burst into tears. This is mainly because lung opens a channel to nose. Lung controls Qi, and is the master of voice. Therefore, too much sad and sorrowful weeping would cause hoarse voice and short of breath, etc. Lung masters skin and hair. Therefore sorrow and worry may increase wrinkles.
  5. Fear (shock): belongs to kidney. Kidney is the major organ for people to express fear and shock. Fear and shock are people’s reactions in response to sudden stimulations from the external world. When people are severely scared or shocked, they may have incontinence。This is consistent with the fact that kidney controls both Yin at the front and back, the stool and the urine. Kidney contains essence, produces marrow and charges brain. When people are scared and shocked, he/she may pass out and lose conscious. This is related to the fact that kidney contains essence, produces marrow and charges brain. Fear and shock have certain benefits to our body under normal circumstances. It alarms us and helps us to avoid injuries.

Sun Simiao in Tang Dynasty said: “The best doctor treats the country. The mediocre doctor treats people, and the bad doctor treats illness”. It means that a good practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine can make everyone in the country healthy in both body and mind (treat before the illness happens. The illness has been prevented in advance before it occurs, including infectious disease and epidemics. With good physical and mental health, people’s relationships and communications will surely become better. The whole country will naturally become more harmonious. The whole society will become peaceful, stable and happy). A normal mediocre practitioner in traditional Chinese medicine can treat people and educate people to discipline and take care of themselves to avoid illness (relatively limited number). The last level is doctor who treats illness, who can treat patients who are already ill (because they are not good enough to prevent the illness and can only diagnose the illness when patients are actually ill). That is to say, the best treats the not-yet-ill, the mediocre treats the about-to-ill, and the worse treat the already-ill. The principle of traditional Chinese medicine is to prevent people from getting sick. This is contradictory to the development of modern Western medicine.

Chinese traditions always emphasise the educational function of music to people’s mind and morality. “The Book of Rite – Record of Music” said that virtuous people have good personality. Musicians are the best of the virtuous. Confucius focused on teaching through music in particular: “The best way of change a culture is to use music. The best way of governing people is to use etiquette.” He thinks that the thinking and artistic essences in music are expressed in kindness and beauty.” Confucius believed that etiquettes and music that filled the heaven and the earth, mixed in Yin and Yang, flowing among ghosts and goads regulate everything in human society. It could make people more kind and purify our society, so as to ensure the long-term security and order of the society. From this point of view, we can see that music plays an important part in social morals and ethics.

Traditional Chinese medicine is the direction of global medical system reform and the way for human health. The medical problems we have now are not about money but about the effectiveness of treatment. The treatment and prevention of diseases are clearly beyond the indication of vitamins, vaccines, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgeries. It is ignorant to waste patients’ precious life and time on diagnosis, a greedy and pretty excuse for lacking treatment capabilities. The more treatments are given, the more patients there are. The data rocket up every year, making people confused and lost. Many things may not be solved by money or action. A healthy method should be: focus on prevention complemented by treatment. The combination of prevention and treatment makes a holistic medical system. If physical health is healthy, Yin and Yang are balanced, all organs are well, amd people’s mental health will also improve. This will naturally reduce the number of crimes. This way of removing fire from boiling water could achieve many objectives in one go and can solve all of these difficult problems in the world.

Chinese culture emphasises on utilising people’s full potential through combination of “the spirit” and “the body”, advocating on the idea of “heaven, body and mind, all in one”. This is one of the reasons why Chinese civilisation was able to develop to a high level without becoming imbalanced. Chinese culture is completely different from the scientific development model of the civilisation we are currently in, even including the understanding of materials. Chinese culture follows another path that is way beyond our modern civilisation. Modern people focus on intelligence and capabilities, education and communication of knowledge, while neglect spirits (inner consciousness or inner power). When the society is corrupted with love to wealth, lust, extravagance and power, people will become corrupted by greed and power. This is the sadness of our human nature. This is the imbalance in physical and mental health that we always try to emphasise.

We are no longer what we were. This doesn't seem serious on surface, yet it is the root of the problem with profound influence. We must stop growth of the problem in the bud so that they will not become a bit one (lack of heart to help people, love people and feel compassionate … this is common in this society. One shall not be too ashamed). However, this is also when we can see the value of Chinese culture and meaning of traditional Chinese medicine to people’s physical and mental health and social harmony. This is the great contribution of traditional Chinese medicine to the world.


Chinese Version