March 22, 2006
WebMD vs About.com - How patients are being advised
Two great resources for information on health are both About.com and WebMD. Recently articles were published on both with Acupuncture as their focus, trying to talk about all the benefits and risks of Acupuncture. What is most notable is the difference between how they advise you to find an Acupuncturist:
If you're interested in trying acupuncture, be sure to tell your doctor first. People with bleeding problems, an active infection, and other health problems aren't advised to try it. To find a certified acupuncturist, your doctor may be able to help. Friends may have suggestions. Check with major academic medical centers. Check with the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists.
A qualified acupuncturist gets thousands of hours of training. A physician with acupuncture training, however, gets only 200 hours or so of training. "There's a big difference," says Wayne. A qualified acupuncturist will be licensed through state and national boards. Ask the practitioner about his or her years of clinical experience -- that also makes a difference.
Note how at first they say, talk to your doctor and go to the underqualified AAMA, and in the next sentence they tell you that the AAMA is far less trained. Totally inconsistent and not good advice.
~Ask your doctor. Many doctors are now providing information to their patients regarding alternative medicine and natural therapies. If you are looking for an acupuncture practitioner, ask your doctor to get tips and advice on where to look.
~ Always check with your local acupuncture association. National acupuncture organizations (which can be found through libraries or Web search engines) may provide referrals to acupuncturists. These associations and organisations are there to provide a professional service and usually check the listed practitioners for qualifications and experience before allowing the practitioner to join. You may like to take this opportunity to learn more about this natural therapy through these organisations who are very helpful with information.
Now we're talking. Tell your doc, and then call the state association. Finally good consistent information. I love how they say 'Many doctors are NOW providing info' - cause they sure as hell weren't before.
March 16, 2006
Acupuncture jokes...please just don't
And today's winner for WORST Acupuncture joke ever made: The Daily Record. Acupuncture is being used in the battle against drug addiction. But what I want to know is, can it cure pins and needles?
This is of course in reference to the recent news that Kate Moss has been spotted with some press tacks in her ears and just so happens to be trying to cure her cocaine addiction. Again, who likes to test the theory that there's no such thing as "bad press."
March 12, 2006
Acupuncture and Sham effective for lower back pain
Here we go again. Yet another study trying to prove that my 3 1/2 year post graduate education was a waste of time. According to a German study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, "real" Acupuncture and "minimal" or "sham" Acupuncture produce statistical similar results in relieving lower back pain. Both were rather effective in reducing pain by over 20% more than placebo, but were not different from each other even after 6 month follow up. Reuters Article Here.
March 08, 2006
Department Chair positions available at NESA
The New England School of Acupuncture has restructured their administration a bit and is looking to fill two open positions of Department Chair, Chinese Acupuncture Studies Department and Department Chair, Chinese Herbal Medicine Department. They're looking for two half-time (2.5 days per week), benefited Department Chairs in the departments of Chinese Acupuncture Studies and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Department Chairs in these newly restructured positions will have teaching, scholarship and school service responsibilities. Click here for more information.
March 07, 2006
The Sluggishness of the Media
I'm always shocked at how long it takes for the media to pick up on stuff. I reported months ago about the BMJ study that cited Acupuncture can help with Migraines, whether sham or real. Now it looks like Reuturs, ABC, and Fox News (Yes i hate Fox News but they have a really open-minded health staff...wish the rest of the staff was like them) are finally doing their homework and getting the word out. Do Acupuncturists just have a really bad media generating engine. There should be a crack team out there sending these studies to the media outlets as soon as they come out. After all, these are basically public service announcements.
For example, recently we've been mulling the idea of billboard advertising in Philadelphia to let the public know that if they're in an Auto Accident or were injured under Workman's Compensation, Acupuncture is covered 100% by the insurance carrier. It's mandatory in the state of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, neither people nor doctors know this and thus don't get referred. This is both a ton of business, and a ton of people with REAL issues who need help.