Different approaches are endorsed by some, and condemned by others. The question is: How do you get honest and true information? There is a middle ground to all this and we must try to seek it.
MEDICAL TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES
Millions of educated Americans are seeking alternative medical treatment. They are supplements or are abandoning prescribed medical treatments. Despite medicine's great progress, many question remain unsolved in patient health care.
We are living longer because of advances, in antibiotics, and Western Medicine surgery, but most of us find we also are suffering longer now from degenerative diseases that cripple us.
We have not stopped arteries from clotting, and rarely have we prevented or cured cancer, arthritis, Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s, Aids emphysema, cataracts, kidney and liver failure and even the common migraine headache.
Doctors are reluctant to accept new approaches.
Many encourage patients to abandon treatments with previous good track records. Most patients want to prevent diseases before they lead us to chronic disabilities.
Society has narrowed the gap between the West and the East, as we appreciate new findings in the brain function and the immune system. There is now a better understanding of alternative medicine and rational approaches are now being taken.
Alternative medicine is here to stay. In chronic pain treatment, many treatments are available as hypnosis, meditation, prayer, special diets, and especially acupuncture. Teas are mentioned for insomnia as well as sleeping pills. Discussions about chelation, ginseng ginkgo biloba, and chondroitin, are taking place.
Even the NIH (the caretaker of western medicine) is spending 23 million dollars a year in research work on such alternative treatments. Insurance companies are now reimbursing policyholders for wellness plans and alternative medicines, but not for acupuncture.
We must be flexible on choosing what is good and what is bad. Doctors say they are holistic. So was the country doctor 50 years ago. The mind and body go together. Prevention of disease is important. You the patient must insist on it. Today’s specialists that treat only one organ, must consider the whole patient.
We also must do our part in considering how we shall live and how the style of our living effects on our bodies. We must see the dangers of smoking and drinking and the effects of moods, stresses, foods we eat, and the lack of exercising on our bodies.
Different approaches are endorsed by some, and condemned by others. The question is: How do you get honest and true information?
There is a middle ground to all this and we must try to seek it. We must sift out the garbage and find answers to our questions on disease treatments. Journals of western medicine never allow reports stating the results of alternative therapies.
Acupuncture has passed centuries of human experiences, yet claims are made that it is not scientifically tested according to western protocol. Yet western medicine is always changing its mind. Treatments of 10 years ago are now abandoned because they were found harmful.
Traditional doctors often make statements that are not based on sound hard evidence. These statements are based on belief instead of observed biochemical reactions in the body. How do you measure Qi energy? Clinical observations prove that acupuncture treatments work and have been used for thousands of years.
Suppose you have local back pain and have treatment with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Vitamin E, antibiotics, massage, steroid injections and even prayer. When your back pain is gone, what worked? Try to explain the mechanism of how these modalities worked.
Oriental medicine is not scientific as it is practiced. It is not dependant on medical science. Research is needed to validate the effectiveness and mechanism of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Oriental medicine is extremely old and time tested. There are specific energetic patterns to guide its practice. Only pain control has been scientifically proven by western medicine. The Oriental treatments for disease and injury are radically different from western medicine. It works by manipulating and enhancing Qi and blood. People can't wait for scientific validation by blind studies.
There are three problems acupuncture must confront:
1. It is a non-scientific language.
Originally, western medicine was a science of anatomy.
Now it is a science of biochemical and cellular physiology. Oriental medicine has an energetic framework and does not fit the matrix of western medical thinking.
Oriental medicine uses the energetic force in the body to control the biochemical and cellular activity. These energetic forces dictate this biochemical activity. With acupuncture biochemical changes occur by yin, yang and Qi, and are not explained by western biochemical physiology terms.
This traditional language allows us to have effective therapy. Pain control with acupuncture has been proven by Dr. Pomerantz , showing the neurovascular effect and also the release of endorphins.
2. There is a lack of double blind placebo studies for validation.
Acupuncture brings the yin and yang chemicals into energetic balance. By knowing the cause and prevention, we can correct a symptom. There is no interest in proving the efficacy of acupuncture when results can cut on the use of drug products and medications. Is it ethical to deny a sick patient some form of treatment? It took the NIH twenty-five years to accept acupuncture.
How many surgical procedures have double blind placebo studies? Aspirin has been used for 100 years and only recently has the physiologic mechanism been explained.
3. There is a lack of modern scientific explanation of how acupuncture works.
The west uses a language of biochemical physiology and not of energetics. As technology improves, acupuncture will be validated on its own terms. As new scientific instruments are developed, they will record and describe Qi, the difference between yin and yang energy.
It will become obvious how Qi is disseminated and how the rotation of qi occurs through the channels with acupuncture. stimulation . These studies are now being done in Japan, Germany, Russia, and China.
Observing the release of endorphins with acupuncture does not describe the methods of acupuncture actions but only its consequences. Yet a hundred chemical reactions can occur with acupuncture stimulation.
Because they are not observed does not mean they have not occurred. Because energetic pathways of qi, yin and yang have not been observed scientifically, does not mean they do not exist.
Western medicine has a different orientation in the treatment of injury and illness. It seeks to control uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms by manipulation of biochemical mechanisms. It focuses narrowly on disease manifestations.
There is a lack of a unified view of heath and vitality. Western medicine only excels in crisis management of the injured.
Eastern medicine looks at what a healthy body should be.
It describes the free circulation of Qi and blood through defined channels and organic function energetically. It uses the natural mechanisms of regeneration and recuperation without side effects. It accelerates the healing process of non-crisis illness.
You, the informed public should have access to both kinds of treatment. And that is what American acupuncture aims to do. One therapy should compliment another and they should be used interchangeably by physicians, to achieve the optimum health for you the patient.
Statistical analysis is hard to show because the body heals itself. Other therapies can also enhance healing. The state of the patient’s mental, emotional, and spiritual status are very important to healing.
When you are suffering from a debilitating and incurable disease, you look for the most improbable promise. You must always hope. With nothing to lose you become bait for any therapy that promises a cure.
Conventional and alternative therapies can work in controlled settings to provide the best of both worlds. Alternative therapy must complement western treatments.
You the patient must assume responsibility for your own survival and health. Never lose hope. I see miracles happen every day with acupuncture. Above all, explore alternatives including those outside of the expertise of your doctor.
The object is to live longer and also enjoy the best quality of life. Perhaps your doctor is opposed and does not listen to your problems. If that is so, perhaps it is time to find another doctor who understands you.
Visit www.drneedles.com for more commentaries on controversial medical subjects.
As a medical physician for over 51 years, I strive to give you the best medical information on controversial medical subjects, and help your read betwwen the lines. You must come to your own conclusions. I have no ties to any organization, pharmaceutical, or lobby group. As an practicing medical acupuncturist since 1982, I find western medicine and medical acupuncture are very complimentary. This results in astounding healing in pain management, addictions to cigarettes and food, and a host of other maladies. Visit drneedles is blogging" at the end of each blog for a complete alphabetical list of all my blogs. Visit http://www.americanacupuncture.com/ for more detailed information on mind, body, and spirit healing.