Saturday, May 13, 2006

If it Looks Like a Duck, Quacks Like A a Duck . . .

. . . but the AMA can't see or hear, than it must be a quack, right? I came across this interview with neurologist Dr. David Buchholz concerning migraines, and it contains some fantastic information about mis-use of current drug therapies, threshold levels and dietart/environmental triggers, and rebound headaches. While full of great information, I found this bit the most amusing:

Q: I have been diagnosed with cluster migraines, and I found no relief, despite heavy use of drugs and bills totaling $5,000. Then I attended acupuncture sessions from a local Chinese school of medicine. After three sessions I began to realize the timing and pain of my headaches were weakening. Today, I am headache free and have not taken anything out of my diet. My question: Why does Western medicine exclude the use of acupuncture? -- James Callender, Austin, Texas

As much as I'm glad you're doing well, and I occasionally hear similar stories, I'm unconvinced that acupuncture is the answer to headaches. I have no strong objection to trying it, except that I worry that going off in such a direction can distract a headache sufferer from successfully addressing what I see as the two key battles: avoiding rebound and reducing exposure to dietary triggers.

What tickles me about that comment is the assumption that, much like western approaches to medicine, and acupuncturist would look at the patient, say "oh, you have migraines," then administer a cookie-cutter treatment the same way an MD would pass out Imitrex or Topamax. Any acupuncturist worth their degree would investigate triggers, patterns, diet, exercise, ect. Last time I checked, that's what being holistic practitioner was all about - root and branch.

That one pet-peeve aside, the interview investigates some through-provoking questions and includes links to selected tables in the good Doctor's book "Heal Your Headache."

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