One day a few weeks ago, my Google news alert sent me this: Advanced Acupuncture Helps Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain. Well, gee, heck yeah! Of course, acupuncture can help with chronic pelvic pain — and irregular menstrual cycles — and premenstrual discomfort — and lots of other complaints! But, hey, what is this “advanced acupuncture” technique? And how is it so different than “traditional acupuncture”? Hmm, I read and watched the “news-esque” video to learn that “advanced” acupuncture includes acupuncture needles, e-stimulation and a heat lamp. Rather baffling, isn’t it? All just like “traditional” acupuncture.
So what’s really so different and newsworthy about this treatment? It’s taking place at Loyola University in the Chicago area, and it’s a research program that’s offered 2x/month, supervised by an urologist trained in medical acupuncture, Dr. Larissa Bresler. Medical acupuncture is an elective or certificate level of M.D.s in acupuncture of about 300 hours, offered at several sites including Harvard University. Medical acupuncturists also have courses available to them in Chinese herbal medicine. It’s not equivalent to a degree in AOM/TEAM, but it’s definitely more than 1 or 2 weekends!
But this begs the question — at least for me — why is that the experts in this medicine (me and my colleagues) are allowing the non-experts to define us?