04-25-2002, 06:11 PM
I'm not sure if this the proper forum to post this question, but I guess it's as good a place as any. I'd like to prevail upon those of you with a medical background. Coleen, I'm sorry if it appears I'm putting you on the spot, but I would like to hear your opinion as well as the opinion of others with medical training. What do you think of therapies such as acupuncture specifically, which deal with unblocking ki as a means to heal or assist in the healing process. I'm referring to injuries and other musculo-skeletal problems related to training here. It's not often that we have an opportunity to ask these questions of someone who is both trained in medicine as well as Aikido or martial arts in general. Thanks for your reply.
04-25-2002, 08:31 PM
Since there don't seem to be any large, well designed studies, I don't know if there is a medical concensus on accupuncture or other similar forms of treatment. Like I put on another thread, if you go to medscape.com and search for accupuncture, then look for anything that lists a Cochrane analysis, you will get a statistically sound opinion. But the results of those, for the most part, are the groups are too small or the design too poor to get a good, statistically reliable result, which is what gives most MDs a warm fuzzy. (Please note, I just got back from class and don't know where my reading glasses are, so bear with any words that are not what my fingers thought they typed:confused: ). Anyway, what I can give is my personal opinion.
I have refered both patients and friends for accupuncture, I think it has had enough positive anecdotal reports that I'm willing to suggest it to those inclined to try alternative therapies, or who might be open to the idea. I don't push it on those who prefer a pill, but more and more folks seem to want to take a more active role in their treatment, which is one of the beneficial things I see in most alternative medicine---the patient does, not is done to.
My sister raises and shows English Mastiffs, dogs that are about human size and weight, and many of them have hip problems. Her vet used accupuncture to treat chronic hip pain in two, pain associated with renal disease (not the disease itself) in another, and pain associated with cancer in a fourth. At any one time, at least 2 dogs were getting treatments. While the first dog was getting treatments, the other dog(s) would usually fall asleep as well (the one getting treatments always did)---perhaps learned relaxation, but it was interesting to watch.
Personally, while I think there may be more to accupuncture than meets the eye, I think a good part of it relies on the belief of the patient. I think the human mind is where most of our miracles are born as well. How that happens, I am not sure, but I see it alot in my practice. Perhaps someday we'll find it relates to release of certain hormones. Some accupuncture points are near major nerves or blood vessels, and stimulating them may play a role. Too many variables and not enough controlled studies for me to say, but I think it's worth a try, especially for chronic pain syndromes.
I'm sure there are folks out there who have tried acupunture for a dojo mishap... I'd like to hear what did and didn't work.