Monday, October 24, 2005

Acupuncture is Like Real Estate

Location, location, location as I used to tell my patients. You can't be close, you have to be precise.
Pinpointing pain - Los Angeles Times: "This might be why practitioners and patients alike often notice a distinct feeling when an acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin, says Langevin. Patients sometimes describe the feeling, called de qi in Chinese, as pressure, a nick, something akin to a mosquito bite. To the practitioner, the grip on the needle feels like catching a fish on a line, or a 'tightening' of the skin around the needle.

Langevin is now examining what implications this might have for how acupuncture sends messages to the brain. She has published data showing that when needles are inserted into acupoints, the underlying connective tissue winds around the needle 'like spaghetti around a fork,' she says. This doesn't happen when a needle goes into a non-acupoint area."
"Yet when Cho and his colleagues stimulated random points, located a few centimeters away from each acupoint, no activity occurred in the visual cortex."
This is a plumbing issue
NOT all scientists are believers in the so-called "point specificity" of acupuncture. They note that many studies have shown that simply inserting needles in the skin can relieve pain — regardless of whether the needles are placed at random or in the places defined by traditional Chinese medicine.
You are still relieving pressure, pain will decrease. That doesn't mean you have stimulated healing. That is one of the problems with sham acupuncture.

A good practioner can already do this, I've pulled it off myself once or twice
In fact, Cho believes that acupuncture might someday be refined to the point where the use of a dozen or more needles could be traded in for a single well-placed needle. "One good stimulation may be enough" for lasting pain relief, he says.
Acupuncture is just one aspect of Chinese medicine.
In other words, when pain patients turn to acupuncture, other simple changes may produce measurable alterations in brain function with real implications for pain relief.

The herbs, dietary shifts and exercise regimens often prescribed by traditional acupuncturists might have as much to do with the treatment's effectiveness as the needles themselves — physically as well as psychologically.
Chinese medicine treats more than pain, it treats the whole person. Something most Americans are averse to. They don't want to do the exercises and they won't take the nasty tasting herbs long enough for there to be any effect because we are the "I need it immediately society"

In case you were wondering about the useless Master's degree, I'm a little burnt out and taking a break from all the people who want me to fix them but don't want to do anything themselves.

And to answer your question. Acupuncture can help you lose weight if: you modify your diet and get exercise. There is no magic point, no magic herbal formula. Chinese medicine can help with your metabolism, water retention and some aspects of hand to mouth disease, but you are still the final arbiter of your health.

Kind of like American politics.

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