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drjeff1

acupuncture for arthritis?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Anonymous 11 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #1764

    Dr. Jeff Feinman
    Keymaster

    OK I know that I’m going to open a can of worms here. Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of acupuncture therapy when it is practiced according to the rules of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

    Unfortunately many acupuncturists (veterinary and human) use acupuncture as a means for palliating (covering up) symptoms. This is done by ignoring the totality of symptoms of the indivudal (which *should* be the basis for all holistic therapies) and focusing just on the presenting complaint, e.g. stiffness on rising or lameness associated with arthritis.

    Acupuncture is extremely effective (because it works at the same energetic level as homeopathy). When used this way however it isn’t much better (and possibly even worse) than Rimadyl or other non-steroidal ANTI-inflammatories. That’s because it is being directed *against* only one small portion of the entire imbalance of the individual.

    You can often tell the difference by the questions which your doctor asked at the initial consultation. Were they looking at the totality or just focusing on the problem at hand? The former usually takes upwards of an hour whereas the latter (including the actual “needling”) can be done during a typical 15 minute office visit.

    Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box now and let someone else comment.

    Dr. Jeff

    #2793

    Anonymous

    I am a physiotherapist (physical therapist) working with humans in the UK, many of my colegues practice accupunture with great sucess and I am currently awaiting a course. I am keen to get onto a course with an ‘eastern’ philosophy. However it does strike me as strange that it takes 5 years for an accupunturist to qualify yet I could do so in 80hrs (plus coursework) I would be intersted in hearing more of you views. Particularly your comparason of accupunture with NSAIDs

    When I have had accupuncture myself I find it a very similar sensation to reiki, despite having it done by a colegue with a strongly ‘western’ take on accupunture. To set the scene, I had an acute injury to my shoulder, which had resulted in myofacial triger points in my upper traps and scalenes, I explained to my colegue what had happened and he needled me, no formal consultation. 20 minutes later I had no pain or restriction and it didn’t return. My collegue reported a strong Da Chi response and I certainly felt warmth and tingling during the treatment.

    My view though it may be missinformed would be that by correcting the local imballance you are helping the whole.

    With regards to your views on localised treatments, what are your views on using ice, heat, ultrasound (pro inflamatory), massage locally? Can not a localised treatment stimulate a systemic response? With the exception of massage the others all work on areas of the electromagnetic spectrum, therefore do they provide an energetic response within the body?

    To that end I would argue that every action does have a energetic effect working on the theory that all mater is infact energy. The problem then is to work out which things are having a negative and which a positive effect on the whole.

    Would being treated techically well by someone who is in a strongly negative state of mind, or who is working purely for financial gain be better then being treated with less techincal skill but with a positive and loving attitude?

    #2823

    Dr. Jeff Feinman
    Keymaster

    [quote=Berry and Willow] 1-takes 5 years for an accupunturist to qualify yet I could do so in 80hrs (plus coursework) I would be intersted in hearing more of you views.

    2- missinformed would be that by correcting the local imballance you are helping the whole.

    3- With regards to your views on localised treatments, what are your views on using ice, heat, ultrasound (pro inflamatory), massage locally?

    4- Can not a localised treatment stimulate a systemic response?

    5- To that end I would argue that every action does have a energetic effect working on the theory that all mater is infact energy.

    6. Would being treated techically well by someone who is in a strongly negative state of mind, or who is working purely for financial gain be better then being treated with less techincal skill but with a positive and loving attitude?[/quote]

    1. Thank you for making my point about depth (and length) of training. You only get a taste for TCM and learn “cookbook” accupuncture in a course that spans 80 hours. Financially however, 5 years is much less appealing. Of course with the proper desire, you can continue to learn and advance your knowledge while practicing. I just don’t see that happening with most vet acupuncturists.

    2. If you were referring to local removal of a lesion, I would disagree strongly. From the rest of your message however it sounds like you are talking more about palliation, e.g. using soothing topicals, chiropractic, massage, etc. “Taking the edge off” is fine.

    3. See #2. BTW-These aren’t just my views. The concept of “curing” the individual with a dis-ease vs. suppressing the specific disease symptoms, e.g. the local lesion, are shared by every Hahnemannian homeopath throughout the world.

    4. No. Healing has to be initiated by the Vital Force which gives life to every cell in the body. “Fixing” a local lesion (no matter how it is done) is harmful to the VF and will decrease length and quality of life. It will also increase susceptibility to other chronic problems.

    5. I agree.

    6. It is definitely better to be treated by an inexperienced healer than a money-grubbing, negative “expert”.

    Dr. Jeff

    #3205

    Anonymous

    I know this is an older post but seeing how I am new to this board I felt I would chime in. Having a strong interest in and having a broad amount of ecperience working with acupuncturists both human and veterinary, I think that your fairly gross generalization that “most” veterinary acupuncturists are out for the quick focal alleviation of pain is just that, a gross generalization.

    And arent gross generalizations something that the homeopathic and alternative medicine practitioners have been fighting when the very things that they espouse are so often dismissed by traditional western medicine?

    Just like all professions, you will find good and bad practitioners. Are all plumbers just out for our money? All used care salemen slick talkers and con artists? Mechanics out to dupe you? Well yes there are some, but to generalize and say that most are, I feel is erroneous.

    No profession is perfect. Did you know that in a relatively recent survey most pet owners ranked their relationship with their Veterinarian on the same par as that with their auto mechanic? Their overall feeling was that they felt like they were being ripped off by having to agree to procedures because they didnt know enough about the situation or their pet so they were essentially “forced” to go along. This is a similar response to how they felt about having their car fixed. They mostly felt as is they were being taken, forced to pay for things that didnt need to be done and paying excessive amounts to do them. This all stems from not being educated on everything and anything and having to trust someone to tell you the truth.

    It is sad that a few bad apples have spoiled things for the rest of the world but that is what we are shown in magazines, in newspapers, on TV and on the Internet. The majority of veterinary acupucturists I have had the pleasure of working with spent a tremendous amount of time understanding the patient, the client, and the situation that brought them all together. Plans are set forth to correct underlying problems as a complete and thorough treatment plan, not just a one time treatment to alleviate symptoms, and the vast majority of the time it was non-complience by the client that altered or truncated the plan in favor of a quicker or cheaper “quick fix”. In a lot of these circumstances, the practitioner is forced to compromise and in the face of a suffering animal, something is done rather than nothing and far too often that something is the “quick fix” which isnt usually what the practitioner wants, but is the only hand that can be played.

    A rate limiting step in any patient/doctor relationship is the ability of the patient to afford the doctors services. This is muddied further by the before mentioned perception that the costs are inflated and unncecessary. Not only have medical procedures, herbal remedies, medications, equipment, and other costs skyrocketed, the cost of being educated to perform these procedures, diagnose illness, and prescibe or recommend medications or herbal therapies has also skyrocketed. To become a veterinarian today costs on average $150,000. Add to that the $100,000 for undergraduate degrees, then becoming certified in an alternative field such as acupuncture or chiropractic requires several thousand more dollars and untold hours of study. In a world that is increasingly becoming more expensive to live in, with people using discretionary monies to pay for their animals health care, the practioners are nearly limitless at what they can offer in the form of care and diagnostics, but it is the costs that hold much of the process up.

    Medicine is not easy. An animal with an illness is not like a flat tire, or a leaky pipe, or a faulty switch. We still havent even scratched the surface in our knowledge and understanding of physiology and medicine. Some onus has to be placed on the one seeking help to educate themselves, and research to find those practitioners that arent “just in it for the money” and out-for-the quick-fix-get-you-in-and-out-quickly mentality. And anyone out there thinking that veterinarians are just in it for the money, charging ridiculous prices to get rich and all that, have no idea what it is like to become and be a veterinarian.

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