Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How acupuncturists can further the education of medical students

by Peter Stern

One of the best practices acupuncturists present to further the education of medical students is to think "out of the box" and to treat patients more holistically instead of focusing on one or two areas of the human body for healing. The medical profession diagnoses an illness or pain and then tries to heal the patient without any regard for the whole being and what is going on for the "entire" patient physically and emotionally.

In addition, as being linear to the above concept, acupuncturists know that there is a network of meridians and points in the human body that are interconnected and that promoting healing by reviewing and considering all such meridians healing the entire psycho-physical being will promote greater and quicker healing response time and will further encourage preventative maintenance instead of the western process of simply healing the local area of pain or illness.

Our society not only teaches its doctors to heal with pharmaceutical methodologies, but we also encourage patients via TV, radio, brochures and magazines advertising to suggest possible medication to their doctors if they have the symptoms discussed in the ad. The pharmaceutical industry pushes its medical products to pursue huge profits. Little emphasis is presented on natural healing methods and preventative maintenance.

Furthermore, the medical and health care providers seldom promote the ancient and/or alternative healing options, e.g., acupuncture, herbal remedies, traditional Chinese medicine, or chiropractic methodologies, even though these have had years of positive results. In fact, health care plans seldom pay or reimburse patients when they visit alternative practitioners.

Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine which has been practiced for more than 5,000 years with much success. Modern medicine should reconsider teaching acupuncture processes to medical students not only as an alternative option, but as a learning guide to how all parts of the body are connected to each other and how the meridians of the body function together to promote a healthy balance, instead of modern medicine continuing to teach future doctors to focus on a physical problem area and then try to prescribe medicine to heal that area, which does little to promote overall health in the entire body and psyche. It would provide better oversight and awareness to heal a patient holistically, establish an ongoing plan of preventative maintenance and will also keep down the high cost of health care.

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