THIS A CONSPIRACY"
In the March 1998 issue of "The Journal of The American Chiropractic Association", the cover article and headline was "Acupuncture Chiropractic's Perfect Partner?" My initial reaction to this cover story was one of enthusiasm as the ACA as an organization has never really taken too much of a role regarding acupuncture and therefore I thought it about time. After reading the article I was appalled. Obviously hundreds to thousands of other Doctors of Chiropractic were likewise disgusted by the sheer numbers of letters, faxes and phone calls I personally received by doctors who were sending letters of disgust and protest to the Journal of The American Chiropractic Association for the horrendous, degrading article which they presented to our profession and in essence to the world.
Acupuncture has been extremely prominent in the chiropractic profession since its introduction to America in 1972 following President Richard Nixons delegations to The People's Republic of China. In fact I remember well the first official organized acupuncture programs in this country when my very dear friend Dr. Richard Yennie brought to The United States on multiple occasions "Masters" of acupuncture from Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong who taught the ancient art of acupuncture to hundreds of physicians in a series of programs from all disciplines of healing, as Dr. Yennie and others would translate the lectures into English. This was in 1972 and continued for years. Since tourism to the People's Republic of China would not open until the later part of 1979, and there were strict travel restrictions for the doctors of China in this very communist nation, the majority of acupuncture education in this country prior to 1979 came from outside the People' Republic of China but obviously still Asian Medicine and Acupuncture.
By the time I personally visited The People's Republic of China in the spring of 1980 for the first of 13 visits, I had already studied and practiced acupuncture for eight full years. I had additionally accompanied a group of 35 chiropractic and medical physicians to Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong in 1973 for the express purpose of studying acupuncture and observing it in the Asian environment. Acupuncture had become a vital part of many chiropractic and medical physicians clinical procedures. New York Chiropractic College with a faculty of five postgraduate professors of acupuncture, three of which were of Asian descent and considered "Masters" by their Chinese colleagues, conducted the first certification program in clinical acupuncture. The year was 1973.
This program was 100 hours of didactic, theoretical, philosophical, clinical and practical acupuncture procedure. This was not a program in Traditional Chinese Medicine as it did not deal with the enormous aspects of Chinese medicinals, it dealt with the meridian approach to acupuncture. It also focused its therapeutic application on Japanese and Taiwanese style of modern electro acupuncture. Even though needle stimulation was certainly a major factor in this program, the main focus was on electro-acupuncture.
Just as there are numerous techniques in chiropractic adjustive techniques, and we have seen that not all chiropractors share the same philosophical approach to their profession, the same can be said of acupuncture. All acupuncture is not Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in fact acupuncture is only a small but integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The way acupuncture is practiced in The People's Republic of China differs widely from the way it is practiced in Korea (which I have visited twice) and differs dramatically from the Japanese style. British, French, German, Italian, Australian and Russian acupuncture all have their roots from Asia but not necessarily The People' Republic of China. They are all similar but different. All Acupuncture is not Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from The People' Republic of China.
Shortly following the acupuncture certification program presented by New York Chiropractic College (Columbia Institute of Chiropractic) in 1973, many other accredited chiropractic colleges began to offer 100 hour certification programs in (meridian style clinical) acupuncture. This post graduate program has been offered by National College of Chiropractic, Logan College of Chiropractic, Cleveland Chiropractic College, Parker Chiropractic College, Texas Chiropractic College and Northwestern Chiropractic College. I personally have addressed classes on the topic of acupuncture within the school classroom at Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and The Sydney Institute of Chiropractic even though these last three do not have an official postgraduate program to their school. In essence, seven of our CCE accredited chiropractic colleges offer a 100 hour didactic program in acupuncture which have literally taught thousands of doctors the art of meridian style clinical acupuncture. None of these acupuncture programs were or now, programs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) nor were they ever intended to be.
The chiropractic practitioners who have taken these programs are dedicated, caring professionals who have incorporated an acceptable Asian style of acupuncture into their chiropractic practices to enhance, not to replace it. They do not admit to practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine nor do they necessarily want to. The chiropractic colleges who offer the 100 hour certification programs in acupuncture do so to provide the practitioner with a well rounded education into theory, application, philosophy, and technique. Twenty eight chiropractic State Boards require from the chiropractic physician additional postgraduate hours of education in acupuncture from a CCE approved program, the majority of which are 100 hours. Virginia requires 200 hours from both medical and chiropractic physicians however most states do not require any additional hours of training from M.D.'s or D.O.'s. Acupuncture is currently being practiced by an increasing number of M.D.'s with their new found interest in "alternative medicine" The number of M.D.'s who practice acupuncture according to NIH is approximately 3,000.
When I received the
March 1998 issue of the "Journal of The American Journal of Acupuncture"
which was devoted to "Acupuncture Chiropractic's Perfect Partner"
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was no mention of or article
from the prominent D.C.'s who have formed, developed, created and established
the acupuncture programs within our Chiropractic College post graduate
programs. I knew I had not been asked to contribute to the issue despite
the fact I have just finished my 100th article for Dynamic Chiropractic
over a 10 year period. However, I was contacted to advertise.
What we did see however, was an interview from a Dr. Lao Ph.D, L.Ac. (licensed acupuncturist) who is assistant professor of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and clinic director and instructor at the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Whose entire gist of his interview was to focus on the idea that the 100 or 200 hour course offered by our Chiropractic Colleges are inadequate and no practitioner can understand and use the full TCM system within a "short course". He goes on to say that "health care professionals who take the short courses may not even be aware that TCM is more than acupuncture or that acupuncture is more than needles and symptoms". Does he really think we are that stupid? What an insult and the ACA is endorsing him. As mentioned earlier, "Acupuncture is not just TCM".
In addition to this
slap in the face which was endorsed by our largest national organization
the ACA, printed were the names of 37 accredited acupuncture colleges
or candidates for accreditation along with the state they are located
in. This was under the heading "Acupuncture Schools Pick the Best".
These are professional colleges of the three year variety which teach
the basic sciences as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. I wonder when
the ACA last counted the number of accredited Chiropractic Colleges in
the United States or the world for that matter. Guess what? It's not 37.
Under the heading National Acupuncture Organizations, there was no mention of The International Academy of Medical Acupuncture of which I personally preside or The Acupuncture Society of America presided by Dr. Richard Yennie. The combined directory of these two historic organizations numbers over 25,000. The Journal of the ACA did however print the name and address of the American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) which has recently shortened its name to the AAOM. So here is our largest national chiropractic organization the ACA in its Journal giving the name and address of the AAOM with the advice in parentheses (to learn more about acupuncture).
In the December 1,
1997 issue of "Dynamic Chiropractic" I wrote an article titled
"Acupuncture Statistics---Very Interesting" in this article
I quoted from an earlier study which had been conducted in the State of
California by The Center for Oriental Medical Research and Education with
Terry Oleson Ph.D and Karin Hillsdale Ph.D, L.Ac. This article raised
a considerable amount of rage amongst the acupuncture community who were
not happy with my report. Don't blame the messenger for the message. In
that article I issued a warning to all States that do not currently include
acupuncture into their chiropractic practice act to do it now as the acupuncture
profession appears to be taking great strides to eliminate us. I had also
mentioned that it is not necessary for us as Nationally and State Board
certified Chiropractic Physicians to have to retake the multitude of basic
science programs which are a vital part of the acupuncture 2,400 hour
program for us to utilize acupuncture in our practices. I also mentioned
that "all acupuncture is not Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there
are numerous styles of acupuncture just as their are different martial
art forms and chiropractic techniques". Please bear in mind, I wrote
this article for D.C's which was published in a newspaper known as "Dynamic
Chiropractic" which is for chiropractors. If you could see some of
the correspondences I have received from acupuncturist about this article
you would be shocked. Dynamic Chiropractic even went as far as printing
one of the letters from an irate reader who feels chiropractors have no
business using acupuncture because we are not properly trained according
to some magical number of hours which one must have to make them competent.
The Dynamic Chiropractic article I wrote hit the Internet under "Acupuncture.com".
The letter is in the correspondence section under the heading
Allow me to quote
in part directly from Harvey Kaltsas D.Ac. President Emeritus, AAOM response.
Remember this is the association the ACA listed so boldly (to learn more
of the ACA" goes on to take statements from a D.C. who attended an
acupuncture college in California and three years later completed his
education. We are not talking the same kind of schedule which you attended
in chiropractic college all day every day five to six days a week. Many
of the acupuncture colleges I am personally acquainted with conduct classes
on weekends and several hours a night several nights a week. This acupuncturist
goes on to say "I consider it scandalous that in many states, chiropractors
are permitted to perform acupuncture with zero to 200 hours of training
which means that the public gets the wrong impression that acupuncture
is no more than a limited modality for pain control." He does go
on to say that "because of the rigorous education chiropractors undergo,
their coursework meets at least half of the national acupuncture examination
requirements so when the get trained in acupuncture the process is not
an onerous one".
One of my primary
concerns is why the acupuncturists are willing to take on the chiropractic
profession as to their accused lack of education whereas they do not mention
the medical practitioner who in many instances has nothing but a home
video program or at best a short course which I know from personal experience
is nothing like what is available in the chiropractic profession. However,
it"s easy to understand. Can you imagine the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA) publishing the same article which was published
by JACA? Hardly!!!!!!!
So in essence the three articles which appeared in JACA two of them were specifically about chiropractors having no business performing acupuncture with a 100 hour postgraduate program through a CCE College of Chiropractic and the other was a general chiropractic / acupuncture article whose author a Canadian is referred to as chief instructor Traditional Academy of Acupuncture. Why didn't the ACA have someone from a CCE Chiropractic College postgraduate program discuss their program and why it is so valuable to the chiropractic profession as well as the patients whom we treat?
The bottom line of
the whole report is when Dr. Lao of the Maryland School of Medicine states
that a more acceptable route for a chiropractor to utilize acupuncture
is to take a 1,000 hour TCM training program. He suggest this would be
appropriate. The first 300 hour phase would prepare the doctor to work
with the basic acupuncture points and some of the simpler diseases. Practitioners
could use what they learned in their own clinics but would not be licensed
acupuncturists. The second phase
To put the whole thing
into it's proper perspective, the Journal of the ACA reported in a bold
American Chiropractic Association, you have let down a lot of wonderful doctors in the March 98 issue of JACA. You owe this profession an apology!