Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Acupuncture beats Western med for low back pain


It's not enough to have a diagnosis... Give acupuncture a try, maybe that diagnosis is only a single-moment snapshot of where you are - it may not be permanent at all!

This article is hardly news to me! I see it every day - low back pain, and other muscle aches, are really hard for Western medicine... Even arthritis is often correctible with acupuncture, some exercises, and maybe some daily self-massage! I have even treated torn meniscus and herniated discs and had good results.

And people find all this "miraculous." I don't mind the enthusiasm one bit, but it strikes me that acupuncture and hands-on massage are very straightforward, no magic at all! The only reason it seems so wonderful is that Western medicine has left the hands-on so far behind that many folks who go to a doctor are never touched once... even those going in for surgery don't even get the basic "Does it hurt here or here?" examination. Instead they get a machine that takes a picture of a living changing organism - and the verdict is rendered by reading a machine's interpretation of the body!?!

And then based on such a fuzzy picture, the doctor recommends three things - surgery, meds, physical therapy... and marginalizes the hands-on therapy to only the things he writes down on a pad of paper! How can someone who hasn't even touched you prescribe manual therapy to someone else who isn't legally allowed to stray from the doctor's orders?

The way I work, I don't know in advance what I'm going to do. It's a combination of examining the patient, experience... and intuition! The results speak for themselves.

1 comment:

Margarita said...

I would say, moreover, any hands on treatment is considered a luxury and most likely will not be covered by insurance (for those still fortuante enough to have it). Courses on medical ethics teach us to limit our hands on contact with the patient to a bare minimum, and we are cautioned against diagnosis based on palpation. That alone subverts the effectiveness of meridian therapy, rendering it to be an adjunct of pharmaceutical applications. How many patients could be saved visits and costs and stop living in pain if a proper course of the hands-on modalities were considered before the injections and the pain killers.