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Just How Good is Acupuncture?

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Plavt
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Just How Good is Acupuncture?

Postby Plavt » Sun, 22 Jan 2006 8:22 pm

The following quote was made by Professor Tony Wildsmith an expert at the University of Dundee in Scotland;




"I think it is a psychological manipulation technique, a distraction. We are not

going to get to the stage where this could be used instead of a general

anaesthetic".


Personally I think, like a good many others, he is to dismissive since acupuncture has been in use in China for some 3000 years. Possibly he feels his authority, knowledge and status are being undermined. There are a number of well traveled and well informed people on this forum and I would like to hear your views.

A program on alternative medicine will be shown on BBC2 this Tuesday at 2100 GMT (don't know if anyone can receive it in Singapore).


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4631930.stm



Plavt :-k

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Postby AirCon » Sun, 22 Jan 2006 9:32 pm

Sitting with bad posture in my lovely desk-job I had huge neck and shoulder pain - massage only helps momentarily (and I'm not talking about the 'happy ending' ones).

Tried acupuncture and was quite disappointed - then was told to try a two week course, several times a week, and it actually got better.

Unfortunately if you don't break the bad habits that cause the pain then you are wasting your money in any case.

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Postby Plavt » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 1:04 am

An interesting personal experience AirCon but I am hoping there will be more debate about attitudes since a number of Western doctors are still sceptical. I wonder if people reading this agree with an old sentiment: 'that it only works because you want to?'.


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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 5:24 am

Plavt,

I am not an expert and hence not qualified to comment on an objective basis.

Acupuncture is actually used in combo with the whoe TCM (traditional chinese medicine) approach which incorporate chinese herbs and massages. The basis of TCM is the yin-yang concept meaning your body is at its healthiest when it is in balance. This yin-yang concept is all about being in equilibrium (and being in harmony), a concept that Chinese believe governs the whole universe (including human body). You can find law of equilibrium in Economics and also math (equation formulas where both sides next to the equal sign have to equal) and many more. The body becomes out-of-balance (out of harmony) when say, blood flow is restricted in certain part of the body and the accupunctures locate the meridien to stick the needle in.

If you visit acupunturist office, you almost always find a chart that shows all the meridiens of the human body. These points and meridiens were documented in great detail under the "Nei JIng" and was compiled around 305-204 B.C. Once when I had a headache, the accupuncturist actually sticked the needles on my hand area instead of directly on the head. It helps to eliminate my headache somewhat but it is not supposed to be a cure-all. If you continue on a stressful lifestyle and not take good care of yourself, accupuncture can only do so much for you. Other than the actual accupunture session itself, the accupuncturist will take your pulse, look at the color of tongue and even asked questions about your excretion (my relative equistarian had mentioned that one way to monitor the health of the horses is to look at its faecal matter) habit.

Accupuncture also spreads to Korea and Japan. In fact, the very popular Korean soap Da Cha Ching (Premier Hu Jin Tao is a big fan and there are tour groups in SG and Asia organized specifically to take tourists to visit the film sets) is based on true story of the first Korean female physician to serve in the royal court and she makes use of accupuncture.

Accupuncture will work on many, but not all, ailments. And one have to scout around to find a good one. I believe many accupuncturists out there are mediocre. It takes many years of practice, training and talent to be a good accupuncturist. That said, accupuncture is not for everyone. Some people will only believe in the western form of medicine. It is up to personal preference too.

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Postby Plavt » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 7:20 am

Thank you for the information earthfriendly, it might surprise you but I know most of what you say. You may find it surprising but acupuncture is practiced at the doctor's surgery which I attend here in the UK despite being a conventional National Health Service (NHS) clinic. What I am more interested in is the attitudes of people and whether they have any basis for disregarding it your last paragraph goes some way to addressing that since few here would know. You may find it amusing one acupuncture cline I was in had an offer which read: 'consultation free if you accept any treatment otherwise £10! I walked out and no doubt you would have - seems there is a con everywhere.


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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 8:36 am

interesting topic, plavt. i think western doctors are opposed to TCM for two main reasons - medical training and profitability.

western medicine has saved many lives. unfortunately it is primarily the study of disease, not holistic health. treatment is drug-based and treats the symptoms, basically suppresses them, using drugs which interfere with the body's natural processes and thus have their own undesirable long-term side effects. take away a doctor's arsenal of drugs and he will have little idea what to do when a patient walks in.

the other problem is the politics of medicine. the pharmaceutical industry is flush with funds and has a lot of political clout. they give out free samples to doctors, and which doctor would say no to free drugs? and the profit on prescription drugs is not insignificant. TCM and other approaches to medicine would impoverish many doctors.

just my views based on some recent reading i've done, most of which are written by doctors themselves. don't shoot the messenger. :wink:

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Postby Quasimodo » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 9:17 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:interesting topic, plavt. i think western doctors are opposed to TCM for two main reasons - medical training and profitability.
:


Oh, WIMH, what a lovely gross generalisation again - as you can see from Pavt's post, this is not the case. TCM has always been popular and becoming more so . . . let's not make this another West against East thread (chip on shoulder, perhaps, young lady?).

P l e a s e . . . .
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 9:50 am

Plavt wrote:I am hoping there will be more debate about attitudes since a number of Western doctors are still sceptical.

Plavt wrote:What I am more interested in is the attitudes of people and whether they have any basis for disregarding it.

quasi, no need to get your bristles up. i was merely responding to plavt's posts.

i'm sure you know this: most doctors in singapore practise 'western' medicine, so what i wrote applies equally to singapore and probably other parts of asia and is in no way an east vs west thing.

perhaps it's you who have a chip on your shoulder as everytime i breathe anything vaguely uncomplimentary with the word 'western' in it you jump in with this. if the term 'western medicine' makes you feel uncomfortable tell me what to call it and i will oblige. 'mainstream'? 'normal'? "non-alternative'? all are fine with me.

i'm merely articulating what i've recently read on the reasons doctors are skeptical of non-mainstream / non-normal / non-non-alternative medicine. if you have anything substantive to add to the topic instead of laying your whip about, i would be happy to hear it.

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Postby Quasimodo » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 10:46 am

Wooooooooaaaaaah there Bessy . . . . Sensitive - sure it's my chip, but ok = :-#
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Postby Wham » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 2:52 pm

There is a spot about 4 inches below my right nipple and slightly to the rigth that occasionally get irritated. When i scratch it, i feel a dull pain right at the end of my right elbow. This has bothered me on and off for about 20 years. I take this as evidence that there ARE INDEED strange things going on in our nerve endings.

Also, i had a masseuse in NY whose father was a practitioner of Accumuncture in Taiwan and she knew her pressure points like no masseuse that i have ever had before or after. Frankly, strange itch aside - i am a believer.
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Samuel Johnson

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Postby Wham » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 5:03 pm

btw, am i the only one with stange itches like this?
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Samuel Johnson

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Postby Quasimodo » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 5:20 pm

Wham wrote:btw, am i the only one with stange itches like this?



No, but in your case a shot of penicillin should clear it right up. 8)
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Postby Plavt » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 5:44 pm

Wham wrote:There is a spot about 4 inches below my right nipple and slightly to the rigth that occasionally get irritated. When i scratch it, i feel a dull pain right at the end of my right elbow. This has bothered me on and off for about 20 years. I take this as evidence that there ARE INDEED strange things going on in our nerve endings.

Also, i had a masseuse in NY whose father was a practitioner of Accumuncture in Taiwan and she knew her pressure points like no masseuse that i have ever had before or after. Frankly, strange itch aside - i am a believer.


I would not want to sound patronizing Wham but that's something you should get looked at as (and I am not trying to be alarmist) it could be cancer. I have a spot on my face which has been there for almost as long as I can remember and the doctor says the same thing although mine doesn't itch. I hope it isn't of course but do deal with it ASAP .

Best Wishes,


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Postby Plavt » Mon, 23 Jan 2006 6:13 pm

Thank you for your posts WIMH and Qausi. A good many western medicines (if they should be called western) do have long term effects which doctor's are acutely aware of. For example barbiturates were often used in sleeping tablets (I don't know if they still are) but barbiturates are highly addictive and doctor's long campaigned against use of such drugs.

The pharmaceutical industry can be a pain in some ways, for instance a good much money will be spent on finding drugs to combat cancer or diabetes as they are well know conditions and will yield a return. However other less well know conditions receive less attention and simply leave people suffering. Of course the pharmaceutical industry has to see a profit it is no good supplying drugs to combat AIDS in Africa if the industry does not get paid for it. This is where government's should get their act together - the Millennium Dome cost millions and was a colossal flop while some hospitals begging for new equipment are told there is not enough money!

I am not sure TCM would impoverish many doctors the reason and this may surprise you is there are any increasing number of westerners trained to practice acupuncture of which a good number are General Practitioners (doctors). One thing said about acupuncture is: there is no medical evidence that it works on neurological ailments and as far as I can tell it has been shown that neurological ailments often don't respond.

However, only time will tell when my mother was a nurse some thirty years ago such things would have been dismissed without consideration but that was before the days of mass communication and travel which enable us to look at things less conventional than in ones native country.

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Postby Bubbles » Tue, 24 Jan 2006 1:03 am

I can only agree with Plavt as I am in the UK too. It is quite common nowadays to be referred to an acupuncturist by your GP. The GMC and BMC (General Medical Commission, British Medical Council) have issued directives and it is fast becoming a readily available alternative treatment. I am not sure of the facts on which ailments it treats more successfully, but I am sure I read somewhere that a woman had acupuncture whilst giving birth ...C section...and used it as anaesthetic. OK, perhaps I'm wrong, but I am almost postive I did. Will have to check up on the internet.

I think the medical community are keen to be seen to be exploring all sorts of alternative routes to health, and of course, some of them are far cheaper to fund that traditional, drug treated answers.

Another way to look at it is that there is only so much money in the pot for the buying of all things medical for the country, any country. However much you would rather not think of it as so, the medical business is a business at heart. It cannot run on thin air. So, monetary decisions must be made for all decisions.....and drugs are a huge part of the budget, so I think this is why the NHS is now researching 'alternative' medicine. It is usually far cheaper. And hopefully, some of it will work, as that can only be a good thing, can't it, not chucking down handfuls of hard drugs all the time.

Just my view. Not had it myself, but have heard great things about it.

Also.....lots of new age treatments are popular....Indian Head Massage....Cranial Manipulation....Cupping....Chiropractor etc. And yet we all know these are ancient practices, so perhaps it's a time when all new 'old' things are coming back into vogue?
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas.


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