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Acupuncturists Poke Holes in Column

June 28, 1992

Acupuncture can and does relieve pain, restore health and save lives. I have personally experienced the power of this system of medicine as a patient for 20 years and as a practitioner for 12.

Classical acupuncture treats patients as individuals, not diseases. Therefore, it is not a system of medicine that can be entirely taught or examined in accordance with requirements set down by regulatory agencies.

Symptoms of the same description may be the result of entirely different causes. The choice and location of appropriate points for curing one person may, therefore, be quite different from another.

One patient's migraine may be the result of a malfunctioning gall bladder, but in another person it may be the result of a malfunctioning liver or colon. It is on this underlying cause--unique to the individual--that classical acupuncture focuses treatment.

The most heartbreaking paragraph in Akst's column included the statement, "I'm never having acupuncture." To that woman and many others, some of whom are sick and have been left feeling hopeless by the limitations of other systems of medicine, I say that many lives can be transformed by acupuncture performed by a caring and skilled practitioner.

While I cannot speak for all acupuncture organizations and traditions, I do recommend the following as reliable nationwide sources of names and contact information of classically trained practitioners: the College of Traditional Acupuncture, Tao House, Queensway, Royal Leamington Spa, England, many of whose graduates are licensed and practicing in California; and the Traditional Acupuncture Institute, American City Building, Columbia, Md. 21044.

NEIL R. GUMENICK

The writer is founder of the Center for Traditional Acupuncture in Santa Monica.

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