Monday, August 27, 2007

Obituary of an Acupuncture Hero

I came across this lovely story and thought I would share.

Peter Wang, 88, acupuncturist who bridged cultures: A Life Story
Teacher, author helped Chinese newcomers settle in NE Ohio
Monday, August 27, 2007
Alana BaranickPlain Dealer Reporter

At his Chester Township acupuncture clinic, Peter C. Wang helped folks quit smoking, relieved their arthritis pain and immersed them in Chinese culture.

The former Gates Mills resident, who died July 26 at age 88, opened the clinic with his wife, Rose, in the late 1970s.

"[Acupuncture] was something you didn't talk about then," said Ann Volk, who was Wang's patient in the late 1980s. "It had not gained the status that it has today. He gave successful treatments for weight loss, smoking, drinking. I had a cyst on the back of my knee. He helped me immeasurably."

Wang, whose wife had been trained in acupuncture in Hong Kong, returned to his homeland around 1980 to take acupuncture courses given by traditional Chinese medical colleges and to receive certification. He found the political climate had changed dramatically since 1949 when Mao Tse-tung's Chinese Communist Party took power.

Wang, the son of a teacher, was born Wang Chieh in Shanxi, a province in northern China. He grew up in a rural area, where he learned horticulture, culinary arts and equestrian skills that had been handed down from his ancestors.

Read More

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Sign of Things to Come?

As the country moves toward self-funded insurance while listening to presidential candidates debate the merits of everything from national healthcare to requiring all employers to provide coverage, it is hard to predict where intergrative modalities will fit in. But they say everything starts at the coasts and moves inland. As usual, California is at the forefront of advancing coverage, and therefore legitimacy, of acupuncture practice.

Bill would require insurance to cover acupuncture

By Hector Trujillo/Staff Writer

A bill requiring health-care service plans and health insurers to provide coverage for acupuncture under a group plan or policy is being considered in the Legislature.

Assembly Bill 54, introduced by Mervyn Dymally, D-Compton, creates new coverage requirements on health-care service plans and would impose state-mandated local programs.

"Every insurer issuing group health insurance shall provide coverage for expenses incurred as a result of treatment by holders of licenses under Section 4938 of the Business and Professional Code...,” according to the bill.

Section 4938 says any person other than a physician, surgeon, dentist or podiatrist who is not licensed and practices or supervises an acupuncture procedure involving the application of a needle is guilty of a misdemeanor.

“About 70 percent of insurers are currently offering acupuncture coverage in their plans,” said Janet Leach, a licensed acupuncturist. “It will make a huge difference with 100 percent of patients being covered.

“This bill will significantly affect the way acupuncturists are perceived in the medical profession,” added Leach, who has worked at the Five Cities Medical Building in Pismo Beach for the last seven years.

Read More

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

While I give dietary recommendations to the majority of my clients, I do not do a lot of acupuncture for weight loss as a stand alone treatment. I advise patients to speak with a nutritionist, preferably holistic, to devise a solid meal and activity plan. Here is an article from the that gives an informative break-down with some free dietary advise - I would skip the "downward purging" though!

TCM take on fat: Vent your spleen
By Zhang Qian 2007-8-15

If you want to fight fat the TCM way, you should eat foods to promote a healthy spleen — like Chinese pearl barley, known as Job's tears — and drink lots of Pu'er tea. Both are also diuretics, writes Zhang Qian.

A sun top, miniskirt and high-heel sandals - that's the outfit that catches men's attention and other girls' envy on the streets in summer. In order to show off their figures in skimpy clothes, girls started their weight-loss battles months ago, but it's never too late to lose weight.Drinking slimming tea (a laxative), staying on a diet, and going to the gym frequently are widely used weight-loss methods. But eating certain foods or being pierced by fine silver needles may also help you to get rid of excessive weight.

Most people believe that obesity results from eating too much, which is certainly true in most cases. But it fails to explain why some people gain weight even though they eat little and drink lots of water while others keep slim though they eat a big dinner every day.

"It is not simply the case that the more you eat, the more weight you gain," says Dr Zhang Zhongyi, deputy director of the Acupuncture Department of Yueyang Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital. "Whether your stomach and spleen work well plays a much more important role."

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the spleen, together with the stomach, digest and absorb nutrients (the spleen function in TCM differs from that in Western medicine). TCM holds that the spleen is responsible for sending the nutrients from the stomach to all the organs, and also for expelling excessive body fluid. If the spleen doesn't function well, excessive body fluid will collect and turn into fat.

Fat not only collects on muscles, destroying a nice figure, but also on organs and in the blood, which can cause health problems.

Read More

Friday, August 10, 2007

What's In A Name?

There has been some debate lately on the name "alternative medicine." Much of the head-butting between Western and Eastern styles of practiced had diminished as more and more primary health care providers are suggesting massage, yoga, and acupuncture. "Complementary medicine" has been the preferred term over the past few years, however that does not tell the entire story either. The new title seems to be "integrated medicine" which doesn't make any one therapy primary and allows for a broad range of therapies to be considered legitimate. Guess I am going to have to change the wording in my website!

Integrating alternatives into Western medicine

August 10, 2007

Alternative medicine isn’t really “alternative” any more — in fact, the medical community isn’t even using that term.

Now it’s “integrated” medicine, and after years of being considered a fringe practice, treatments such as massage and acupuncture have found their way into mainstream medicine.

So why the name change?

“Years ago it was called alternative because it was Eastern vs. Western medicine and they knocked against each other often,” said Theresa O’Toole, associate administrator of rehabilitative services at Memorial Health System. “They use integrated because it’s part of the total treatment, not an alternative, but in tandem with other, more Western treatments.”

More than 60 percent of adults say they’ve tried some kind of integrated medicine, according to studies. And the number reaches 70 percent when surveying people who are 60 and older.

What is integrated medicine? According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, one of the National Institutes of Health sites, it’s everything from acupuncture to vitamin regimens to prayer.

The center released a study in 2004 that showed that as many as 62 percent of U.S. residents have used some sort of integrated medical treatment — with most saying that they include megavitamin therapy and prayer as part of their health programs.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dynamic Duo

Several years ago a Mexican friend and I were discussing acupuncture when the subject of cupping came up. He exclaimed "my mom did that to us on our backs when we were sick as kids - it's a Mexican thing!" It is also an Oriental Medicine "thing." Imagine - two toatally different cultures developing the same type of treatment oceans apart. Now there is a deeper cross-cultural sharing as acupuncture sweeps Mexico thanks to an educational exchange with Viet Nam.

Viet Nam, Mexico pin down acupuncture education deal

HA NOI — Viet Nam and Mexico inked an agreement in Ha Noi yesterday to develop acupuncture education and exchange between the two countries.

The plan, which will see Viet Nam help train Mexican doctors in acupuncture and set up a drug rehabilitation centre in Zacatecas, was signed by Director of the National Hospital of Acupuncture Nghiem Huu Thanh and Rector of the Zacatecas Autonomous University, Mexico Alfredo Femat Banuelo.

Also on the agenda is an international conference aimed at bringing acupuncture to a wider audience and discussing techniques. The conference will be held for the first time in Zacatecas this November with the support of Viet Nam Acupuncture Association and the National Hospital of Acupuncture.

The contributions of the Viet Nam Acupuncture Centre in the Zacatecas Autonomous University pointed to the special relationship Viet Nam shares with Mexico, rector Banuelo said at the signing ceremony.

According to statistics from the National Hospital of Acupuncture, nearly 50 Vietnamese doctors have come to work in Mexico, providing acupuncture treatment for 12,000 Mexican patients so far. With the support of Vietnamese experts, 17 Mexican masters in acupuncture have been trained at Zacatecas University. — VNS