Acupuncture at the Mae Tao Clinic

I fled winter in China for northern Thailand, where I was volunteering at the Mae Tao Clinic. MTC was started in 1989, BY refugees from Burma, FOR refugees from Burma's civil war, and it's still going strong. Its beginnings were simple, as concerned people -- Dr. Cynthia Maung and others -- just tried to find solutions for an … Continue reading Acupuncture at the Mae Tao Clinic

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The Cutter’s Art: A Brief History of Bloodletting

Here’s a marvelous post on Western bloodletting, where the quantites sought were PINTS, not drops (i.e., acupuncture bloodletting). Plus great trivia on the etymology of barbers’ pole design!

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice

V0011195 An ill man who is being bled by his doctor. Coloured etching

When King Charles II suffered a sudden seizure on the morning of 2 February 1685, his personal physician had just the remedy. He quickly slashed open a vein in the king’s left arm and filled a basin with the royal blood. Over the next few days, the king was tortured by a swarm of physicians buzzing around his bedside. They gave enemas and urged him to drink various potions, including boiled spirits from a human skull. The monarch was bled a second time before he lapsed into a coma. He never awoke.

Even without his doctors’ ministrations, the king may well have succumbed to whatever ailed him, yet his final days were certainly not made any easier by the relentless bloodletting and purging. By the time of Charles II’s death, however, bloodletting was standard medical practice.

Bloodletting dates back to the Roman physician, Galen, who lived in the 2nd century…

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Traces of Chinese Medicine in Modern China

Living in China as a Chinese medicine practitioner trained elsewhere gives me a special outlook. In my daily life, I find that I’m often looking out for glimpses of traditional medicine. And these glimpses tell a funny story! Modern China has become incredibly modernized, at an incredible pace. In a few short years, the majority of … Continue reading Traces of Chinese Medicine in Modern China

We need our own residency programs

Gettin' there.... Acupuncture especially and our other traditional medical treatments are being used more frequently in modern America. We seem to be very slowly getting integrated into the conventional medical usage (emphasis on the slo-o-o-owly, somewhat like easing one's body into a cold ocean dip). But still, we're treated a bit like the proverbial redheaded step-child. Recently, … Continue reading We need our own residency programs

“Advanced” Acupuncture? !#!?

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? … Continue reading “Advanced” Acupuncture? !#!?