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Yahoo published a poor study

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070925/ap_on_he_me/back_pain_acupuncture
These are great news and not so great news.
This study was conducted and supervised solely by medical doctors who have received minimal training in acupuncture and Chinese medical theory. The consensus in my vast community of Chinese medical experts have agreed that this “study” was all “sham acupuncture,” so to express that the “real” acupuncture versus the “fake” acupuncture proved to be almost identical is a misrepresentation to the general public.
It is great to see that…
“In the real acupuncture group, 47 percent of patients improved. In the sham acupuncture group, 44 percent did. In the usual care group, 27 percent got relief.”
Unfortunately, this leaves the untrained reader to believe that licensed acupuncturists are providing a service that does not matter if we know what we are doing or not.
What is positive about this article shows that even people who barely have a grasp on the true practice of acupuncture and Chinese medical theory can still obtain a better response with acupuncture for low back pain than
“patients receiving medications and other Western medical treatments.
In the study, the conventional treatment included many methods: painkillers, injections, physical therapy, massage, heat therapy or other treatments. Like the acupuncture patients, the patients getting usual care received about 10 sessions of 30 minutes each.”
The article goes on to explain that the medical doctors have yet to understand how acupuncture works. For the lay person who really wants to understand the science behind acupuncture, I highly recommend the book NEURO-ACUPUNCTURE by Z.H. Cho, E.K. Wong and J.H. Fallon. These scientists are in the fields of neuro-radiologic physics, neuro-ophthalmology, neuro-anatomy and physics. The studies were conducted by the Department of Radiological Sciences & Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Department of Ophthalmology and the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at University of California, Irvine, as well as the Department of Information and Communications at the Kwangju Institute of Science & Technology in Kwangju, Korea.
…and NO, not all styles of acupuncture and not all practitioners are made equal.
The practice of acupuncture and the application of Chinese medical theory is akin to the practice of martial arts.
Oftentimes, the same technique performed by a “master” is far more effective than when performed by a young practitioner.
Acupuncture and the understanding and application of Chinese medical theory are not solely based on science. True practitioners understand the art, philosophy and intentions behind the medicine.
I am 8 years young in this beautiful field of Chinese medicine.
I am still a beginner. I am a diligent, dedicated and, quite often, a humbled practitioner.
As most of my colleagues, when I read how weak of a hold Chinese medical practitioners have in politics, in the media, with the FDA and with the AMA, it saddens me that we have so far to go still to collaborate as a unified group of nationwide acupuncturists with a specific goal to define the term “sham acupuncture” according to OUR MEDICINE and how many obstacles we must overcome for us to simply be the sole group of professionals who conduct reliable studies of acupuncture performed exclusively by the only competently trained professionals, which are licensed acupuncturists.
The picture associated with the article is that taken of a licensed acupuncturist at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in the Chicago campus. I am a PCOM alumnus from the San Diego campus. This picture has nothing to do with the study conducted by the medical doctors for this article. In a forum of PCOM alumni from the NY, SD and Chicago campuses, none of us professionals had anything to do with the study, yet Yahoo decides to add a picture of one of our practitioners next to an acupuncture study conducted by medical doctors.
Again, please THINK and inquire the validity of ANY study regarding acupuncture.

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