I recently read a review from www.tcmstudent.com that I would like to share:
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:
WebMD: 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.
ABOUT~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 organizations 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 organizations 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.
It continues to astound me that many doctors feel qualified to advise on a modality which the majority know nothing about. Working in the medical field, I see daily that most physicians do not prescribe medications or offer consult beyond the scope of their specialty, yet many have no hesitation educating (ahemm, debunking) on alternative therapies with all the authority of Mao. While I always encourage my clients to consult with their doctor and offer to speak with them if they have questions about acupuncture or herbal treatment, I have yet to receive a phone call from a doctor.
As for the AAMA, don't even get me started. Acupuncture is a specialty, not something you can learn in a weekend and certainly not something that you are qualified to practice just because you are an MD. True, in China, MDs perform acupuncture, but the training is a specialty within the medical schools and TCM is widely accepted in hospitals. If someone told you your cardiologist had a 200 hour residency, would you trust in him or would you run out of the office? Be smart. If you are looking for a qualified acupuncturist, go to www.nccaom.org and find out who is certified in your area.