Working with the Veterans Administration and Triwest, we have been successful in providing acupuncture care to Veterans. There is no cost to the Veterans and all the Veteran needs is a referral from their VA physician. Our clinic has been able to adapt and incorporate the many changes to this Program which continues to evolve as the VA continues its efforts to provide timely healthcare to Veterans.
If you know of a Veteran who needs healthcare or wants to try an alternative approach for pain-relief that may even lessen any dependence upon pain medications, please let them know that we are approved and available to meet their needs.
A recent article in Smithsonian Magazine (May, 2017), by Robert Siegel, illustrates the questions regarding the placebo effect in medicine. For those of you not familiar with this, it simply implies that if you believe something will help you, it sometimes will. This belief commonly happens with drug studies, when those taking the “sham” medicine also report improvement. For acupuncture, some controlled studies have shown that the insertion of needles in the wrong areas, or incorrectly inserted, still elicit favorable relief from the patient.
Who knows how much this placebo effect can impacts a patient’s level of relief? I know in my clinic, those who do not think the acupuncture will work, usually do not get better no matter how appropriate the treatment. Also remember that acupuncture is used successfully on animals (usually dogs and horses) for a variety of ailments. There is no placebo effect in animals – they simply want to return to their natural state of activity, and they do so after receiving acupuncture.
The Smithsonian article eluded to the question that perhaps the placebo effect itself should be examined more closely. In drug testing, MRI studies are now showing that placebos, like real pharmaceuticals, actually trigger the release of neurochemicals such as endorphins. It is amazing that we are still learning new things about the body and finding new ways to maintain health in a progressively challenging world
One of the most widely published books in the world is the Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu. This popular book is a series of poems regarding man’s nature and life. One chapter talks about “the 1,000 mile journey begins with a single step”. What will be your journey – improved health, relationships, patience or ?????
Take the first step towards reaching your goals whatever they may be. Whether or not you reach your goals is unimportant, only that you make the effort as the journey is sometimes just as important as the end result. Best wishes to everyone in 2017.
Western Medical doctors are determining that there is a scientific reason for how acupuncture works and it has been proven with MRI studies. The following story, published by Ed Sussman in WebMD Health News (12/1/99), was based on information presented at the 85th Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. “The data is pretty impressive,” Elvira Lang, MD, associate professor of radiology and medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, tells WebMD. She says the MRI pictures clearly show a reduction in pain activation. “This shows there really is something going on here.”
One conclusion was that because the MRI definitively shows brain activity, it was likely the increased tolerance to pain was real and not just an artifact of treatment, known as a placebo effect.
The full article can be read here:
Good health is all about promoting the circulation of oxygen and blood. What does this mean? Our bodies were designed to stay healthy to handle the daily rigors of living. The body has its own feedback mechanisms to restore itself to health, when able. The body also has its own regulating substances (hormones, painkillers, anti-inflammatories) to keep the body in good health. When the circulation of these substances is limited, then the body cannot transport what it needs to heal and repair the body. I tell my patients it is like stepping on a garden hose and the garden, without water, will soon wither away. Limited circulation in the body will adversely impact our ability to stay healthy.
Chinese Medicine is not magic, it is just one method to activate the body to regulate itself and promote circulation. We do this through the use of needling highly concentrated nerve areas on the body (acupuncture points), using heat, stretching, shoni-shin (light scratching), or herbal formulas. An alternative way to promote circulation is through exercise – that is why daily exercise is so important.