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Thread: My first acupunture Truely amazed

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    Default My first acupunture Truely amazed

    My lower back was killing me with tingling in my freakin toes. I went to an acupuncturist with a martial arts background whom was recomended by my instructor. When I walked out most of the pain was gone and the tingling was completely gone.
    What a fool of me not to try this earlier. Ignorance
    I have two more visits next week which he said WILL alieviate the symptons completly.
    Chinese Medicine makes you hmmmm
    Please.......don't confuse my kindness for weakness.....

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    I'm a firm believer in TCM treatments.
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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    I never gave it a chance. Now I think I am gonna have him give me a 43000 mile tune up. I understand he a state certfied herb dude too
    I am going have him dial me in over the month.
    I was told I would just have to live with the pain in my lower back.
    I call BS.
    Please.......don't confuse my kindness for weakness.....

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    For years, our highly trained western docs would poo-poo the Chinese techniques. But, now after decades of chemicals and invasive procedures, they are finding that these 2,000 year old tried and tested procedures not only work, but work with less side effects and often higher reliability than their poison potions. I've researched it heavily, and as cash is available been slowly using it more and more for my health needs. I feel better, and worry alot less about needing a pill to counter the other pill, y'know?

    As long as the TCM doctor is licensed, and reputable you'll most likely have a good experience.
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    Question Acupuncture and TCM

    Quote Originally Posted by tiger63
    I was told I would just have to live with the pain in my lower back.
    I call BS.
    Have you seen a medical doctor about your problem? I'm assuming that a medical professional made this comment to you. If that's the case, there's probably a good reason for him/her to make this statement. It's quite unlikely that a physician would tell you to just "live with it" if there was a valid treatment. Were you given a diagnosis to go along with the brush-off?

    I'm truly glad that you are currently pain-free. Chronic pain is no laughing matter and can be quite debilitating. However, anyone who promises that you will be "completely" pain-free after a few acupuncture treatments is leading you on. Even if acupuncture worked as its proponents claim, no-one can predict the future with such certainty. You are being had.

    For a well-rounded description of acupuncture from the medical point of view, see: http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...opics/acu.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard
    For years, our highly trained western docs would poo-poo the Chinese techniques. But, now after decades of chemicals and invasive procedures, they are finding that these 2,000 year old tried and tested procedures not only work, but work with less side effects and often higher reliability than their poison potions. I've researched it heavily, and as cash is available been slowly using it more and more for my health needs. I feel better, and worry alot less about needing a pill to counter the other pill, y'know?

    As long as the TCM doctor is licensed, and reputable you'll most likely have a good experience.
    There's a very good reason that the "western" medical professions have "poo-pooed" phenomena such as Traditional Chinese Medicine. In order for modern medicine to accept any new theory, methodology, or practice, the new idea must be thoroughly studied and tested. Without comprehensive scientific testing, any theory or treatment remains nothing more than an old wives' tale. It is in the area of scientific testing that most "alternative" medicine practices fail, miserably.

    You claim that these are "2,000 year old tried and tested procedures." Leaving aside the issue of antiquity equalling effectiveness (in any case, quite frankly, modern medicine has its origins far earlier than "decades" ago), how and where were these procedures "tried and tested?" There are innumerable venues open for scientific testing of questionable claims, from accredited university laboratories to the James Randi Educational Foundation. To date, NO conclusive evidence has been found supporting the theories and claims of TCM. If you know otherwise, please don't keep it a secret. You did mention that you have "researched it heavily." I'd be curious to know what you've learned.

    Wishing that "alternative" medicine works "with less side effects and often higher reliability than [modern medicine's] poison potions" does NOT make it so. As I said above, there is simply NO evidence to suggest that your statement is even close to being true. And "poison potions?" Really? I can only imagine that you have had a truly horrifying experience with modern medicine to make you say these things. If that's the case, I humbly apologize. But, remember that, like all things couched in reality, there are NO absolutes, even in a thoroughly researched scientific field like modern medicine.

    And yes, you'll most likely have a "good experience" with your acupuncturist. Why? Because his source of income is to alleviate your fears with nice-sounding placations. However, any real healing is beyond him/her due to his/her lack of training in biology, physiology, pathology, etc.

    And, why, pray tell, is it "western" medicine? Granted, modern scientific culture and the Scientific Method grew out of the philosophical ideologies of "Western Civilization." However, modern medicine is in no way limited to the "West." I think this kind of thinking (East vs. West) typifies the attitudes of most people who are proponents of "alternative" medicine and other pseudosciences. In reality, however, cultural backgrounds have little to do with the debate. Rather, modern thinking (the use of logic and reason, the scientific method, empirical testing, etc.) replaces irrational superstitions. This is true the world over and in no way implies that any cultures are inferior to others. Remember that all cultures, both Eastern and Western, have had older systems of medicine and healing that were then replaced as our understanding of biology and human physiology developed.

    Thanks,
    MH
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    Default Re: Acupuncture and TCM

    I'll see if I can locate my notes from an earlier discussion on MT.
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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    That was very interesting. Yes I was told I have stenosis in my lower
    back. I have been working almost everyday on my abs with strecthing
    for my lower back. I was truely told I would have to live with it. So...
    I did. I was able to back the pain down alot with streching and excersise.
    About 5 days ago I tweaked it in class with pain going down my right butt and my two middle toes were buzzing. I called my regular physician they could'nt see me until late next month and said if if got worse to go to the emergency. I did not want to wait that long.
    I will honestly tell you that the pain in mostly gone. I was a total sceptic,
    but it is the way it is. I am very impressed even if I can keep it at this level. I still will have my low back looked at by my primary doctor. Again,
    it was an amazing experience and it did work. I will keep you advised on my following visits.
    Please.......don't confuse my kindness for weakness.....

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    One other thing.. Last year I ruptured a disc in my c-6/c-7. While I was waitng to have surgery the pain was horrible. I went to him at that time. His response was no....He indicated to get my treatment from my neurosurgen and to come and see him 2 to 3 months after to help with
    the healing process.
    I felt he knew his boundries.
    Please.......don't confuse my kindness for weakness.....

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    My aproach is to take charge of my own health care and strive for ballance. I use a lot of modern medicine to traeat my condition (which they can't name, they just know I have it- I could have told them that). "Western Medicine" has done me a lot of good. But I've also seen some non traditional practitioners, as well as some on the periphery of what is acceptable to modern medicine, and gotten a lot of bennifit there too.

    Bottom line, if it works for you, it is good. But you won't know 'till you try, and disregarding one type therapy or treatment because of someone elses prejudices or desire to protect their turf seems foolish to me. This, of course, assumes a degree of common sense and willingness to research objectively on your part.

    MHeeler, I don't know how you handle this with patients, and if your response was a little strong just to deal with some strong statements made here. But, having lately dealt with a lot more medical personnel of all persuasions than I really cared to, I can say that the best and most helpful have been the ones that remained open minded (but honest). I know there is a lot of competition and outright animosity among several fields of medicine (watching an MD and a Chiropractor is better than Jerry Springer), but I sometimes wonder where the priority is when patients are put in the middle of these squabbles. If you truly believe that a particular therapy or system is harmful, then you should say so by all means. But to discount an entire system due to negative evidence, especially when your own system sets the rules of evidence, is wrong. 63's experience with accupuncture is that it worked. Long term bennifits will have to be monitored to see how well, in his case. But 2000 years of experience and monitoring, even if not adhering to to scientific method, is still pretty good evidence of efficacy.
    Last edited by thedan; 03-23-2006 at 08:43 PM.

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    just to stick my 2 cents in....a lot of DOM, or OMD or TCM practitioners do study biology, pathology, physiology, anatomy, etc.
    Same deal with shiatsu therapists and massage therapists.

    Allopathic Doctors poo-poo the idea because it simply does not fit in with their model.
    You want to see if it works.....ask the people it works for.
    Nothing is 100%......not all drugs or treatments are effective on 100% of people 100% of the time.

    That being said, I think it's up to GP's to do their own research and talk to patients about their experiences with complimetary health care practitioners, be they chiropractors, shiatsu therapists, acupuncturists, or massage therapists; and help to find the combination that is right for them in managing wellness.

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    Ok, I can't find my original notes, so I did some new digging. I tend to ignore much of what I find on Quackwatch as his articles have struck me as biased and predetermined. A "Defender of what is", he poo-poos anything non-traditional.

    My desire for a better approach to the ideas of the traditionally trained doctors I've encountered began several years ago. They informed me that I would have to deal with certain pains. They offered expensive pills to take to hide the pain...pills that had some nasty side effects associated with them, including foggy brain (sorry, don't know the clinical term). More recently, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. My traditional solution? Here, eat this chemical and see if it works (oh and heres all the side effects it can cause you). I also have several herniated disks (from a car accident). Both my traditional doctor and my chiropractor (remember, chiropractors are also considered quacks. My neck and back tell me otherwise) have recommended that rather than going under the knife (the only solution traditional medicine can offer me, besides pain pills to mask the pain and poison my body further), that I seek the services of a TCM trained accupuncturist. I've been researching that option and checking out my local options and will be making a visit shortly.

    I am tired of doctors prescribing the "pill of the week", who don't understand half the side effects it can cause (I asked 1 doctor a few years back if the pill they were prescribing had any side effects. He said "nothing major". I looked it up and read the paper I got with it. I dunno about you, but I would call loss of sex drive, irritability, and kidney failure to be major.) I can take 2,000 mg of ibuprophen for my headaches, or I can do acupressure, and other non-toxic herbal treatments. I prefer the latter as kidney failure is not on my lists of things to experience.

    TCM practices have been working in China for 2,000 years. Studies on how the bodies neural pathways are layed out have found that 2,000 year old meridian charts are very similar in these "modern scientific" charts. In addition, acupuncture is approved by the FDA, the National Institutes of Health list is as safe and effective, and

    Traditional medicine has it's place. It's foundations go back just as far, with many of the basic techniques and tools having been devised in the Greek and later Roman eras. There are things a needle in the arm cannot cure. Unfortunately, todays traditional medicine relies on surgery and chemicals to treat patients problems, often times with tragic results. How many drugs have been pulled from the market after being fast-tracked through the FDA? How many needless surgeries are performed each day?

    Traditional medicine says "you have a pain. here, hide the pain with this pill, and hope you do not pee blood."
    TCM says "you have a pain. Let us remove the source of that pain and restore you to balance."

    I seek balance over illusion.

    My research is below. One can read through these Government and Educational Institution resource sites and decide for oneself if TCM and Acupuncture are valid options for their health care.


    From NCCAM, National Institutes of Health
    Is acupuncture safe?

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that sterile, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only.5

    Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used.

    Does acupuncture work?


    According to the NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, there have been many studies on acupuncture's potential usefulness, but results have been mixed because of complexities with study design and size, as well as difficulties with choosing and using placebos or sham acupuncture. However, promising results have emerged, showing efficacy of acupuncture, for example, in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations--such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma--in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. An NCCAM-funded study recently showed that acupuncture provides pain relief, improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, and serves as an effective complement to standard care. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.


    For acupuncture information: http://www.acupuncture.com/

    American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
    http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/

    NCCAM, National Institutes of Health
    http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/

    British Acupuncture Council
    http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/
    Article on treating sports related injuries with acupuncture
    On treating Migranes
    Gynaecological Disorders

    Articles evidencing the existence of energy meridians
    (Compiled from the internet by Fred Gallo, PhD)
    http://www.emofree.com/Research/meridianexistence.htm
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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    I know I could use a new approach. I've suffered with arthritis for several years now. I've been misdiagnosed over and over and even let one "quack" operate on my left foot. Again, a misdiagnosis, that caused me to have more problems than I had before!! Talk about "quacks" and "insurance whores."

    I actually have an appointment with a rheumatologist this Monday. I should have seen one sooner but they are in short supply in my area. I'm hoping I can get proper diagonosis this time and proper treatment for my problems. I'm really tired of the flare ups and set backs in my training as a result. Actually, "tired" is an understatement.

    At this point, I'd be almost willing to try anything! I had a flare up last week and Eckerds gave me the wrong prescription. Luckily, I noticed the name on the label of the pill bottle didn't match the name on the insert explaining what the medicine was before taking it. I'm probably lucky to be alive right now!!! There's "Western" medicine for ya.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Follow-up

    Quote Originally Posted by tiger63
    That was very interesting. Yes I was told I have stenosis in my lower
    back. I have been working almost everyday on my abs with strecthing
    for my lower back. I was truely told I would have to live with it. So...
    I did. I was able to back the pain down alot with streching and excersise.
    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Spinal stenosis should be termed "cruel and unusual punishment." Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, is usually due to disc herniation, bone/joint injury, or tumor. Many cases of herniated disc and bone injury can be alleviated by following a regimen of stretching and muscular strength training (targeted towards the muscles of the abdomen and back). These exercises allow greater range of movement and reduced pain with movement. Clearly, this is what you've done, and done well.

    Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate pain, in some situations. Most likely, this is due to indirect nerve stimulation, causing the release of pain inhibitors. However, acupuncture has no mechanism to treat the underlying cause of your pain, whatever that may be. Without addressing the root cause of the pain, acupuncture would simply reduce your pain temporarily (as would any pain medication, by the way). This is why I said that your acupuncturist is leading you on. If he/she truly claimed to be able to completely alleviate your symptoms, he/she is lying. Now, if you prefer acupuncture to pain medications, by all means, continue to receive the treatments. But, for your own health, I would recommend that you continue doing your stretching and strengthening exercises.

    About 5 days ago I tweaked it in class with pain going down my right butt and my two middle toes were buzzing. I called my regular physician they could'nt see me until late next month and said if if got worse to go to the emergency. I did not want to wait that long.
    I would first have to ask you how long ago you were diagnosed with spinal stenosis. It seems to me (and take this with a HUGE grain of salt...obviously, I haven't examined you and don't really know the full details of your situation) that perhaps you returned to training too soon. You need to give your body time to adjust to the limited range of motion. Also, you need to "relearn" how to move with your injury, especially in such a high-impact activity.

    It's a shame that you weren't able to see your regular physician. That is one of the major drawbacks of modern medicine. Due to the regulations of the federal government (especially Medicare), many physicians are forced to see more patients than they really have time for. And, considering the new regulations being passed through, this will only get worse. If you have a continued problem gaining access to your physician, you might consider asking him/her to refer you to another, whom your physician respects and trusts.

    I will honestly tell you that the pain in mostly gone. I was a total sceptic,
    but it is the way it is. I am very impressed even if I can keep it at this level. I still will have my low back looked at by my primary doctor. Again,
    it was an amazing experience and it did work. I will keep you advised on my following visits.
    As I explained above, pain relief is only half of what you need. In fact, the pain is merely a signal of your new limitations. Without that signal, you may re-injure yourself or worsen your existing injury. Ultimately, you should be more concerned with preventing further damage and improving your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. It's good that you will continue to see your regular physician. He/she may be able to refer you to a skilled physical/occupational therapist, who can help you design a safe training program to achieve your long-term goals. I wish you the best of luck.

    One other thing.. Last year I ruptured a disc in my c-6/c-7. While I was waitng to have surgery the pain was horrible. I went to him at that time. His response was no....He indicated to get my treatment from my neurosurgen and to come and see him 2 to 3 months after to help with
    the healing process.
    I felt he knew his boundries.
    WOW! You sure have some battle-scars! And, yes, it does seem that your acupuncturist knows when to limit his therapy. However, it's quite likely that your current injury is similar to your prior one. In which case, the acupuncture would still be contra-indicated. Only by being examined, getting an x-ray or MRI, and being properly diagnosed will you know for sure.

    Thanks,
    MH
    Man has only those rights he can defend.

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    Default Science vs. Pseudoscience

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    My aproach is to take charge of my own health care and strive for ballance. I use a lot of modern medicine to traeat my condition (which they can't name, they just know I have it- I could have told them that). "Western Medicine" has done me a lot of good. But I've also seen some non traditional practitioners, as well as some on the periphery of what is acceptable to modern medicine, and gotten a lot of bennifit there too.
    I'm curious about what condition you have that can't be named. Care to clarify?...that is, if you don't mind revealing that kind of personal information. In any case, one must always take "alternative" treatments with a grain of salt. Because they lack scientific testing and empirical evidence of their claims, you can never know if the "benefit" is real, or only due to the placebo effect.

    Bottom line, if it works for you, it is good. But you won't know 'till you try, and disregarding one type therapy or treatment because of someone elses prejudices or desire to protect their turf seems foolish to me. This, of course, assumes a degree of common sense and willingness to research objectively on your part.
    I must disagree with "if it works for you, it is good." As I said above, we simply can't know if your perceived benefit is real and quantifiable or simply due to confirmation bias and the placebo effect. Not to mention, as I told tiger63, the "alternative" treatment may hide or mask further injury, or worsen the underlying condition itself.

    Disregarding these "alternative" methods has nothing to do with prejudice or turf-wars. Rather, it has everything to do with failed testing and the lack of empirical evidence...post-judice, if you will. None of these treatments are dismissed out of hand. It is due to their inability to reproduce their claims in a scientific manner that we can dismiss them as ineffective pseudoscience. And, as you said, objective research is required. When the only "evidence" supporting these "alternative" methods comes from people promoting and selling said "alternatives," we have to look twice. That being said, there is some evidence in support of acupuncture. However, this evidence is limited, controversial, and only applicable to certain specific situations.

    MHeeler, I don't know how you handle this with patients, and if your response was a little strong just to deal with some strong statements made here. But, having lately dealt with a lot more medical personnel of all persuasions than I really cared to, I can say that the best and most helpful have been the ones that remained open minded (but honest).
    My response here was a bit aggressive, I'll agree. No disrespect was intended to any of the participants or their situations. However, my response was in direct proportion to some of the unsupported claims made in this thread. It is good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

    I know there is a lot of competition and outright animosity among several fields of medicine (watching an MD and a Chiropractor is better than Jerry Springer), but I sometimes wonder where the priority is when patients are put in the middle of these squabbles. If you truly believe that a particular therapy or system is harmful, then you should say so by all means. But to discount an entire system due to negative evidence, especially when your own system sets the rules of evidence, is wrong.
    Actually, there is NO competition between the different fields of medicine. This is due to the fact that all modern medicine is based on the same scientific understanding of biology, physiology, etc. Chiropractic is NOT part of modern medicine, because they use non-scientific and untested theories and methods. You're right in saying that the patient is sometimes put in the middle of these debates. However, part of that problem is due to the lack of scientific education in this country. When people are unable to understand the methods of science and medicine, they are unable to play an active role in their own healthcare. This is especially true when many physicians forget to communicate clearly with their patients. "Alternative" practicioners tend to spend more time with their patients, seem more sympathetic/empathetic, and make people "feel" better emotionally and mentally, even if they are unable to alleviate their symptomology. Regrettable, this drives more and more people into the arms of "alternative" therapists.

    I hate to say this, but you reveal your lack of scientific training/education with that last sentence. Science is simply THE BEST method we puny humans have for understanding the realities of the universe. We (humans) do not set the rules of evidence; rather, the universe itself (or Nature, if you prefer) does. In the field of healthcare, the theories and methods of modern medicine are the only ones which meet the standards of objective/empirical evidence. All other therapies are considered "alternative" primarily because they are unable to demonstrate their claims scientifically. Simply put: scientific inquiry requires PROOF. If you don't or won't agree with the necessity of proof, then I've got a bridge for sale.


    63's experience with accupuncture is that it worked. Long term bennifits will have to be monitored to see how well, in his case. But 2000 years of experience and monitoring, even if not adhering to to scientific method, is still pretty good evidence of efficacy.
    I've adressed tiger63's experience with acupuncture in my reply to him. If you'd like a more thorough explanation, I could probably oblige, but that would be beyond the scope of this discussion. Maybe a PM would be in order.

    As for "2000 years of experience and monitoring," I think you said it best: "not adhering to [the] scientific method." ANYTHING less than the scientific method is NOT "pretty good evidence of efficacy;" rather it is a LACK of evidence. Without being tested against control situations, using blinding methods, no "alternative" method can be shown to be more effective than sugar pills. Once again, it seems that you lack a basic understanding of science and its methods.

    Thanks,
    MH
    Man has only those rights he can defend.

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    Default Scientific Training

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    just to stick my 2 cents in....a lot of DOM, or OMD or TCM practitioners do study biology, pathology, physiology, anatomy, etc.
    Same deal with shiatsu therapists and massage therapists.
    I'd bet that the training of an OMD or TCM practicioner requires very little of the modern biological sciences. It may be true that some of them acquire training in or self-study some science. However, this is a far cry from the extensive training and understanding required by the standards of modern medicine. By their own admission, "alternative" practicioners have no need of modern science, as the theories and methodologies of TCM are couched in beliefs in Chi/Qi, energy meridians/chakra, and the Yin/Yang philosophy.

    Allopathic Doctors poo-poo the idea because it simply does not fit in with their model.
    You want to see if it works.....ask the people it works for.
    Nothing is 100%......not all drugs or treatments are effective on 100% of people 100% of the time.
    That's absolutely correct. Allopathic medicine does NOT recognize any validity to the theories of TCM (among other systems). As you say, TCM fails to fit "our model," that of a knowable universe, controlled by natural laws that are best tested by the scientific method, which allows for the objective collection of empirical evidence. If you cannot even consistently define Chi/Qi, much less demonstrate its existence, then what reason do we have for accepting the theories based upon it?

    As I mentioned to another poster, you betray your lack of understanding of science and its methods. Anecdotal evidence is just story-time. Objectively, an individual's story means nothing. Unfortunately, many people take offense to this approach; but this, again, is primarily due to a lack of scientific education. Without blinding, controls, and a rigorous application of the rules of the scientific collection of data/evidence, we cannot know if something "works." In fact, without those things, we cannot even define what "works" means.

    I don't believe I ever claimed that anything is 100% effective; quite the opposite, actually. In fact, I was telling tiger63 that his acupuncturist was misleading him by making such certain claims. Our understanding of the universe is purely probabilistic by nature. We can never know something with absolute certainty.

    That being said, I think it's up to GP's to do their own research and talk to patients about their experiences with complimetary health care practitioners, be they chiropractors, shiatsu therapists, acupuncturists, or massage therapists; and help to find the combination that is right for them in managing wellness.
    Most GPs have little time to do their own research, but much research has been conducted by several large universities and several more independent institutes. Overwhelmingly, the evidence has shown that most "alternative" health practices are bogus. Now, of course, the scientific process never stops; so, research continues. As more and better tests are devised, so too will our understanding grow and improve.

    Now, I will say that many of these "alternative" practices are "safe," in that they usually cause no harm by themselves. Rather, it is when people discard modern medicine and use "alternative" methods alone that they hurt themselves. If people "feel" better by using these "alternatives," then it is their right to do so. However, they are unlikely to gain any lasting health benefits by doing so. Modern medicine can consistently demonstrate its efficacy and safety. To disregard this large volume of data is to disregard your own health.

    Thanks,
    MH
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    Default Quackwatch

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard
    Ok, I can't find my original notes, so I did some new digging. I tend to ignore much of what I find on Quackwatch as his articles have struck me as biased and predetermined. A "Defender of what is", he poo-poos anything non-traditional.
    It's unfortunate that you dismiss Dr. Barrett's work. Absolutely, he is biased...in favor of logic, reason, the scientific method, and the demonstrated efficacy of modern medicine. I'm not sure what you mean by "predetermined." Are you saying that his conclusions (usually "against" most alternative health practices) are predetermined, i.e. he starts with the conclusion and makes his argument based on the conclusion? If that is what you're saying, I think a more appropriate description would be that the results are predetermined because these "alternative" practicioners make outlandish claims without bothering to demonstrate, test, or prove anything. When you dismiss the rules and methods of science in order to promote and sell pseudoscience, it is (by definition) predetermined that you will not meet the standards of science and modern medicine. Once again, it is not that Dr. Barrett is poo-pooing "anything non-traditional." Rather he poo-poos anything non-scientific.

    My desire for a better approach to the ideas of the traditionally trained doctors I've encountered began several years ago. They informed me that I would have to deal with certain pains. They offered expensive pills to take to hide the pain...pills that had some nasty side effects associated with them, including foggy brain (sorry, don't know the clinical term). More recently, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. My traditional solution? Here, eat this chemical and see if it works (oh and heres all the side effects it can cause you).
    Yes, all medications have side effects. You and your physician must communicate with each other and decide upon an acceptable side effect profile. No effective medication is entirely without side effects. Many times, it is the same mechanism that alleviates the pain (or whatever it is the drug is supposed to do) which causes the side effects. If someone tells you they have a medication/herb/etc. that cures or treats your problem entirely without side effects, then, most likely, the drug is nothing better than a placebo.

    I also have several herniated disks (from a car accident). Both my traditional doctor and my chiropractor (remember, chiropractors are also considered quacks. My neck and back tell me otherwise) have recommended that rather than going under the knife (the only solution traditional medicine can offer me, besides pain pills to mask the pain and poison my body further), that I seek the services of a TCM trained accupuncturist. I've been researching that option and checking out my local options and will be making a visit shortly.
    Chiropractors are considered quacks because they base their methods on totally unproven and untestable theories, not to mention using undefined neologisms, e.g. subluxation. However, they often get good results, which should not be so mystifying. I'd bet that any decent massage therapist could offer the same results. As I mentioned in a prior post, acupuncture may be able to alleviate your pain. However, this is only true for some people in some situations. All the scientific testing performed on acupuncture shows it to be entirely inconsistent, and non-reproducible. If your acupuncturist is able to alleviate your pain without worsening your injuries, then, by all means, continue to do so. However, for your own health, I'd recommend that you continue to follow-up with your regular physician. You might also consider a physical/occupational therapist.

    I'm not sure why you think "pain pills" are poisoning your body. No physician would prescribe poison to you, if only to stave off adverse litigation. But, you're right in claiming that pain medication only mask the pain. That is their intended purpose. However, acupuncture also only masks the pain. Needle insertion does not, in any way, address your underlying injury. Both pain medication and acupuncture, in your specific example, do the same exact thing.

    I am tired of doctors prescribing the "pill of the week", who don't understand half the side effects it can cause (I asked 1 doctor a few years back if the pill they were prescribing had any side effects. He said "nothing major". I looked it up and read the paper I got with it. I dunno about you, but I would call loss of sex drive, irritability, and kidney failure to be major.) I can take 2,000 mg of ibuprophen for my headaches, or I can do acupressure, and other non-toxic herbal treatments. I prefer the latter as kidney failure is not on my lists of things to experience.
    I'd bet that this is just an example of mis-communication. Most physicians do understand the side effect profiles of any medications they prescribe. By "nothing major," he probably meant that none of the serious complications were common. Every medication has the possibility of leading to serious side effects. However, due to the rigorous testing required by the FDA, we can predict with some certainty how often and how severe they will be. If you read the insert carefully, you may find that the side effects you mentioned were listed as "rare" or "rarely seen." If they were listed as "common," then I would recommend that you discuss this with your physician, or seek out another physician. (As they say, "to err is human." No health professional is completely infallible. Always double check any information with your physician.)

    TCM practices have been working in China for 2,000 years. Studies on how the bodies neural pathways are layed out have found that 2,000 year old meridian charts are very similar in these "modern scientific" charts. In addition, acupuncture is approved by the FDA, the National Institutes of Health list is as safe and effective, and
    Please define "working." If, by that, you mean that many people reported symptom alleviation, then let me point out that placebos work quite well too. It works because people want it to work. Without comparing to a placebo control using blinding methods, we cannot even define what "effective" truly means.

    I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but these "2,000 year old meridian charts" are NOT very similar to the modern understanding of neural pathways. I have seen several of these meridian diagrams, and all I see is a collection of lines drawn inside an outline of the human body. Notice that most of these charts lack any real way to accurately localize these meridians: no anatomical landmarks, no measurements, etc. I'd bet that any crayon-equipped child could duplicate the same given an afternoon.

    Yes, acupuncture is approved by the FDA and the NIH. However, one must take into account the political nature of these agencies. Also, the "safety" of acupuncture is recognized, not the efficacy. If you could put aside your distaste for Quackwatch, Dr. Barrett's article thoroughly addresses the acceptance of acupuncture by the FDA, the NIH, and several other agencies.

    Traditional medicine has it's place. It's foundations go back just as far, with many of the basic techniques and tools having been devised in the Greek and later Roman eras. There are things a needle in the arm cannot cure. Unfortunately, todays traditional medicine relies on surgery and chemicals to treat patients problems, often times with tragic results. How many drugs have been pulled from the market after being fast-tracked through the FDA? How many needless surgeries are performed each day?
    Yes, modern medicine does rely on surgery and chemicals. These are the only proven methods of modern healthcare. And yes, sometimes tragedy is a result. As I said earlier, no-one is infallible. However, I would posit that inaction in those cases would also have ended in tragedy.

    Yes, the FDA has, on occasion, moved too quickly to approve drugs. However, this has been very rare when compared to the multitude of extremely safe drugs. Most of the cases where this has happened are due to pressure from the public. Ultimately, the FDA answers to the government, which answers to the people. In any case, I personally believe that risk is relative to each individual. If you are made aware of the risks involved, then it is your choice whether or not to accept them.

    Yes, needless surgeries have been performed, and this phenomenon will continue as long as we humans continue to make mistakes. You asked the appropriate question: how many are performed each day? I'd bet that it's an extremely small percentage. But I'll say it again, no-one is infallible. NO-ONE, including TCM practicioners and the like. As with all life, there is no benefit without risk. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying.

    Traditional medicine says "you have a pain. here, hide the pain with this pill, and hope you do not pee blood."
    TCM says "you have a pain. Let us remove the source of that pain and restore you to balance."

    I seek balance over illusion.
    If TCM practicioners are claiming that they "remove the source" of your ailment, I'd like to know how they plan on doing that. TCM has no definable mechanism, no testable theories, and no consistent methods. Wishing something to be true does not make it so. In the personal examples you gave, acupuncture/TCM has no way to address the underlying cause of your hypertension or your spinal injuries. If their methods worked, they would be able to be tested, evidence could be collected, and they would become part of modern medicine. However, they remain on the fringe of medicine because they are unable to do so.

    I'd say that balance IS the illusion. There is no mystical balance in which the body resides. Surely, there is a certain homeostasis, a steady state, for every system of the human body; and every body system has its own mechanism to maintain it. But there are definable parameters by which this happens. We need no mysticism or superstition to explain it.

    My research is below. One can read through these Government and Educational Institution resource sites and decide for oneself if TCM and Acupuncture are valid options for their health care.


    From NCCAM, National Institutes of Health
    Is acupuncture safe?
    .
    .
    .
    Does acupuncture work?
    .
    .
    .
    For acupuncture information: http://www.acupuncture.com/

    American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
    http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/

    NCCAM, National Institutes of Health
    http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/

    British Acupuncture Council
    http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/
    Article on treating sports related injuries with acupuncture
    On treating Migranes
    Gynaecological Disorders

    Articles evidencing the existence of energy meridians
    (Compiled from the internet by Fred Gallo, PhD)
    http://www.emofree.com/Research/meridianexistence.htm
    As I said before, Dr. Barrett thoroughly discussed many of these agencies in his essay. He is a great source of information, even though you find him to be biased. With all due respect, I think that your opinion of him reflects your misunderstanding of the standards of evidence inherent to the scientific method and modern medicine.

    Good health and many thanks,
    MH
    Man has only those rights he can defend.

  17. #17
    Bob Hubbard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quackwatch

    The FDA's not an organization that seems to do alot of testing either.
    - They fast tracked Nutrasweet onto the market despite overwhelming evidence of it's health risks, after which several members involved in the decision resigned and took higher paying jobs at Nutrasweet. There was this guy named Rumsfield who was also involved in using his political clout to do some favors. This went against over 100 studies indicating that there was no way in hell it should be declared safe.
    - Splenda was also recently fast tracked under similar sloppy methodology.


    You stated "To date, NO conclusive evidence has been found supporting the theories and claims of TCM. If you know otherwise, please don't keep it a secret." Those links I posted say otherwise. They contain the references to the studies, and while I don't pretend to understand the big words (I don't speak doctor lol), I can read the summaries.

    Here is 1: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/backgrounds/energymed.htm
    "Acupuncture
    Of these approaches, acupuncture is the most prominent therapy to promote qi flow along the meridians. Acupuncture has been extensively studied and has been shown to be effective in treating some conditions, particularly certain forms of pain.1 However, its mechanism of action remains to be elucidated. The main threads of research on acupuncture have shown regional effects on neurotransmitter expression, but have not validated the existence of an "energy" per se.

    Qi Gong
    Qi gong, another energy modality that purportedly can restore health, is practiced widely in the clinics and hospitals of China. Most of the reports were published as abstracts in Chinese, which makes accessing the information difficult. But Sancier has collected more than 2,000 records in his qi gong database which indicates that qi gong has extensive health benefits on conditions ranging from blood pressure to asthma.15 The reported studies, however, are largely anecdotal case series and not randomized controlled trials. Few studies have been conducted outside China and reported in peer-reviewed journals in English. There have been no large clinical trials.
    "

    yin yang house
    http://www.yinyanghouse.com/research/studies/index.html
    Contains links to numerous studies as well.

    Found there, are these:
    ACUPUNCTURE & ELECTRO-THERAPEUTICS RESEARCH
    The International Journal
    ABSTRACTS
    This contains references to numerous studies by alot of people with those medical titles (MD, MS, PHD, etc) on a ton of different things under big titles like "Effect of Acupuncture on Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression in Cerebral Cortex of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats"


    Going back to Mr. Barrett, this is from an interview with him:
    "Biography: How about acupuncture?

    Barrett: There are two separate issues here. One is the theory and practice. And the other is what actually happens when you go to see a practitioner. The acupuncture universe is divided into two groups. One thinks of acupuncture in terms of a physical process that causes the body to produce pain-relief compounds like endorphins, or that works by distracting a person so that when you pinch one part of the body, another might relax. And the other is the Chinese way. Practitioners talk about putting the needle in the skin to manipulate the flow of nonmaterial energy called chi. Supposedly, your chi has to be balanced. And disease is caused by imbalance. All that stuff is totally nutty. And the people who do it are not medically trained. They're trained in Chinese medicine, which involves pulse diagnosis, where they feel the pulse for 6 or 12 or 24 characteristics, on the basis of which they tell you what's wrong with your "chi" and what herbs and what type of acupuncture you should have. It is complete insanity.

    Biography: Did you ever consult an acupuncturist?

    Barrett: I did, following a lecture in my local community. After listening to my pulse, he looked at my tongue and told me I had "congestion of the blood" and "stress." I don't have congestion of the blood, and he had no concept of whether or not I'm under stress. As for the lady standing in line behind me, he said she had premature ventricular contractions, which is an irregular heartbeat. I then took her pulse, which was completely normal. This guy was a medical lunatic. But he represents the acupuncturist majority. The bottom line is that acupuncture may have some usefulness in relieving certain kinds of discomfort. For instance, acupuncture may be able to relieve postoperative nausea, but it may not be cost-effective. I don't want to spend $90 and get a needle when I can take a pill for a fraction of the price that would do the same thing.
    "

    To quote one of the many people who disagree with him:
    "The quackwatch.com people are too subjective. Most of their opinions are based on limited personal experience and misunderstanding instead of thorough investigation and study. The worst is that they are all conventional / orthodox/medical / pharmaceutical professionals. They look at other alternative / complimentary methods with too much bias.

    Take a look at the interview of Dr. Steven Barrett http://www.quackwatch.com/10Bio/biography.html. All alternative healing methods are quacks, according to him. His comments on acupuncture reflect his medical ignorance on this particular subject. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been around for thousands of years. If you are talking about clinical studies, which conventional clinical procedure or medication can compare with acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine which have been applied on billions of people for thousand of years. Dr. Barrett's single visit to a questionable acupuncturist caused him to deny all the clinical benefits of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can bring. Do you think this is scientific?

    I do not want to spend too much time commenting on the other unjustifiable judgments that he makes in his site. If you do more research on any particular subject other than just looking at his site, you will learn that most of them are opinions instead of proven facts."

    Here is what our modern medicine has done for me:
    - As a child, my doctor prescribed I be dunked repeatedly in ice water to treat a fever. Same doctor repeatedly prescribed penicillin despite knowing full well I was allergic to it. Same doctor eventually was forced out of business due to too many "mistakes"
    - The cure for a back injury was pain pills. No X-Rays were taken to determine if there was a problem or damage.
    - The cure for a front end collision was....pills! No Xray taken, or other tests performed.
    - The cure for a rear end collision (which totaled my car) was...."come back next week if you're still in pain" and take some ibuprofen. After 2 months of pain and being told the same thing, I was declared "healed" by my insurance agency subsidized quack.
    - After another rear end accident, I was declared "healed" from a case of whiplash after 2 months and told I was "pain free" after an under 5 minute examination during which I indicated repeatedly that I was still in pain. The "thorough" examine consisted of him asking me about a website, a couple taps on my knees with the tried and trusted little rubber hammer, and him holding my x-rays up to the light and saying "man thats a screwed up neck".

    Yup. All nice and scientific, reliable and safe.
    Ironically enough, my current doctor has an open mind on things such as herbalism, TCM, etc. She is treating me for my blood pressure and indicated that treatments at the chiropractor and acupuncturist may (emphasis here on may) also be of benefit to me for this as well. She has been impressed by my herbal research as well.

    My personal exposure to numerous "modern" doctors over the past 30 years has left me distrustful and wary of them. My previous doctor was also trained in hilot (filipino healing) and we had a good but brief relationship. (loss of insurance coverage forced me to change). There are things that we will need the "modern" tools and techniques for. An exclusive reliance on 1 methodology over the other is not healthy. My choice is to go the TCM/TFM/TJM route first, then seek the "modern" if my own information and "alternate healer" suggests I do so. There are quacks in every field. I just happened to hit a number of them in "modern". My own use has left me feeling better, healthier, and stronger.

    Remember, 100 years ago they were still amputating limbs on soldiers.
    100 years ago, washing your hands before cutting into a man wasn't important.
    100 years ago, pain killers were a slug of rotgut before the bone saw came out.
    Even a mere 10 years ago a man shot on a battlefield had a good chance of coming home in a bag. Today, he'll most likely make it home alive.
    Treatments and methodologies change over time. Today, more and more doctors are opening their minds up to new treatment options, and more and more insurance companies are covering them. Those treatments include homeopathy, TCM and acupuncture.
    For ANY and ALL KenpoTalk issues, please use theContact Us link here or at page bottom right. Do NOT PM me for site support.

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    Default Re: My first acupunture Truely amazed

    Hiya,
    The Tingling is gone. So is much of the pain. Yes.... I will get my MRI done
    and I will go back to the accupuncturist next week. I won't be grappling in the near or distant future. I am hoping that my MRI will say I have aggrivated the nerves down there and get a steriod shot and be on myh way. He really did help that is my point. I know that there is a problem
    and will have it addressed by my neurosurgen but in the meantime I am
    feeling better. That is what it is all about.
    I am sold....
    Your guys all have a great weekend I AM GOING STEELHEAD FISHING
    Please.......don't confuse my kindness for weakness.....

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    Default Re: Scientific Training

    Quote Originally Posted by MHeeler
    1.I'd bet that the training of an OMD or TCM practicioner requires very little of the modern biological sciences. It may be true that some of them acquire training in or self-study some science.

    2.However, this is a far cry from the extensive training and understanding required by the standards of modern medicine.

    3. By their own admission, "alternative" practicioners have no need of modern science, as the theories and methodologies of TCM are couched in beliefs in Chi/Qi, energy meridians/chakra, and the Yin/Yang philosophy.



    That's absolutely correct. Allopathic medicine does NOT recognize any validity to the theories of TCM (among other systems). As you say, TCM fails to fit "our model," that of a knowable universe, controlled by natural laws that are best tested by the scientific method, which allows for the objective collection of empirical evidence. If you cannot even consistently define Chi/Qi, much less demonstrate its existence, then what reason do we have for accepting the theories based upon it?

    4.As I mentioned to another poster, you betray your lack of understanding of science and its methods.

    5.Anecdotal evidence is just story-time.

    6.Objectively, an individual's story means nothing. Unfortunately, many people take offense to this approach; but this, again, is primarily due to a lack of scientific education.

    7.Without blinding, controls, and a rigorous application of the rules of the scientific collection of data/evidence, we cannot know if something "works." In fact, without those things, we cannot even define what "works" means.

    I don't believe I ever claimed that anything is 100% effective; quite the opposite, actually. In fact, I was telling tiger63 that his acupuncturist was misleading him by making such certain claims. Our understanding of the universe is purely probabilistic by nature. We can never know something with absolute certainty.



    8.Most GPs have little time to do their own research, but much research has been conducted by several large universities and several more independent institutes. Overwhelmingly, the evidence has shown that most "alternative" health practices are bogus. Now, of course, the scientific process never stops; so, research continues. As more and better tests are devised, so too will our understanding grow and improve.

    Now, I will say that many of these "alternative" practices are "safe," in that they usually cause no harm by themselves.

    9.Rather, it is when people discard modern medicine and use "alternative" methods alone that they hurt themselves. If people "feel" better by using these "alternatives," then it is their right to do so. However, they are unlikely to gain any lasting health benefits by doing so. Modern medicine can consistently demonstrate its efficacy and safety. To disregard this large volume of data is to disregard your own health.

    Thanks,
    MH
    Ive numbered points in your post to make addressing each point easier;

    1. By your own admission you do not know what the education consists of.
    2.Without knowing what the educational parameters are, this is pure speculation.
    For instance, what is Shiatsu therapy? Most people assume it is some hokey therapy that relies on the balancing chi/ki through manipulation of various acupuncture points, right?
    Wrong. What Shiatsu uses for the basis of study is Anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, human kinetics, geriatrics, nutrition and shiatsu therapy in application. At the school i attended, there was also a general course covering "alternative modalities" in which various practitioners came in and told us what they did, why, what was required to practice, etc.
    It is simply erroneous to assume that because someone practices something outside of medicine they are not knowledgeable.
    Every teacher I had at school save for one, was a doctor of some sort, whether it was a PhD, MD, or DC.
    It's no medical school, but the student develops an understanding of the science of the human body and the ability to communicate with healthcare professionals.

    3. are you referring to all alternative practitioners? or just the ones you have personally spoken to?

    4. ok

    5. So by virtue of this statement.....when a patient gives you feedback about a treatment it couldnt possibly be correct because they lack that special understanding of scientific study.
    the pill should work just like it says in the study or on the bottle.
    It is really hard to see or understand the average person's pain or suffering with the cursory examinations they receive in most doctor's offices. This often leads to misdiagnosis or mistreatment. There have been studies done that back this up.

    6. Once again....the patient's story means nothing. Ive seen plenty of Doctors sit there and get a glazed look in their eyes when a patient starts talking about themselves. They'd rather the patient sit there, shut up, get examined, and let the doctor come to his conclusion.

    7. Even with this means of study, nothing is 100%. We can get an idea of what works in most cases. Thalidomide anyone?
    Aspirin does not remedy all headaches, a quadruple bypass is not the remedy for high cholesterol nor is lipitor.

    8. A GP can do what they do.......it is their perogative to either turn a blind eye to what their patients do with or without their consent......or they can take a look at it themselves.

    9. I completely agree with you on this point.

    I dont know you, but i could sit back and speculate about you.
    Maybe you're a young doctor, recently in practice on your own. What you've seen during your studies has given you a bias towards what you do and where you stand on issues regarding things not explained in scientific terms.
    Maybe you didnt graduate at the top of your class, but you still have a license to practice medicine just like all the other doctors out there.
    You dont need to be smart to be a doctor, just astute, and possess the ability to problem solve.
    There are great doctors, and there are some really crummy doctors. Its the same with any profession.
    Not every practitioner of an alternative modality is going to be an expert in their field.
    Some doctors are the ***** and sniffles kind that will always prescribe antibiotics and tylenol........Others do great things.

  20. #20
    Bob Hubbard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scientific Training

    Please also see http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32187 for more of the same discussion.
    For ANY and ALL KenpoTalk issues, please use theContact Us link here or at page bottom right. Do NOT PM me for site support.

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