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Posts Tagged ‘Best Chinese medicine doctor’

46 reviews of McLean Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, about Dr.Arthur Yin Fan, from http://www.bookfresh.com
Simply Amazing
3/2/2016
Deborah L. says: Dr. Fan is simply amazing. Regular PT failed my daughter and both. Dr. Fan far exceeded expectations. Love the atmosphere in the office
Thankful
12/30/2015
Kay S. says: Dr Fan is a super amazing Acupuncturist.. His Chinese Herbs have helped to save my life.. Dr Fan’s acupuncture opened up my meridian to the point where I even got pregnant. I had a healthy baby girl. Dr Arthur Fan knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to treating his patients with Acupuncture . He not only listens , but he treats his patients according to their diagnosis w his super excellent Chinese Herbs💗
PERFECT
11/28/2015
Gwen D. says: Dr. Fan is wonderful. He listens and is very patient and understanding of your issues. I highly recommend him.
Amazing
10/19/2015
Abdou Y. says: I have just started a treatment for a knee pain that has been threatening my ability to work out. Just after 2 visits to Dr. Fan’s center, I can only say that I feel way better than before as I don’t feel anymore about 70% of the pain. I can’t wait for the next sessions as I now hope for a complete healing. I was skeptical at first since I was stranger to acupuncture but not I can say it works.
Excellent
9/1/2015
Lynn D. says: I saw Dr. Fan yesterday for the first time and already feel like I have some improvement in my mood and stress level. Wonderful.
Doctor who cares
8/26/2015
Kasandra M. says: I just started seeing Dr Fan and I appreciate that he is looking at finding the cause of medical issues rather than masking symptoms. I have seen countless doctors and this one finally gives me hope. I have started feeling some relief with my various conditions and I know I have a long road ahead but Dr Fan is very kind, explains things and really targets where the issues are. I am so happy to have found him.
Great insight
7/24/2015
Barbara B. says: Dr. Fan listens more than most conventional doctors and is more attuned with what is going on with your health. His treatments are specialized and individualized to you. He has addressed specific concerns ranging from back discomfort, swollen joints, headaches, and colds, to helping to guide you to an overall sense of quiet and calm. Regardless of what ails you, a cupping session is a must.
Dr Fan Is Amazing
7/3/2015
Yuuna K. says: Dr. Fan is an outstanding doctor. He is trained in both western medicine as well as Chinese traditional medicine. He brings years of experience practicing both disciplines. He is amazing with acupuncture, diagnosis, and treatment suggestions. My body responded very positively to his acupuncture treatment. I would recommend him to other patients considering Chinese Traditional Medicine.
Post-Stroke Dystonia
6/9/2015
Sameer Y. says: I have an odd condition, and Dr. Fan is handling it with patience and success.
Excellent Doctor
4/7/2015
Robin S. says: I am fortunate to have found Dr. Fan who has helped me with a variety of issues: poison ivy, arthritis and allergies among them. His medical expertise is evident as he explains what is happening in the body and how acupuncture can support healing. His knowledge is balanced with kindness and compassion supported by an office environment that provides positive energy. I highly recommend Dr. Fan, particularly if other approaches to a problem have not brought relief.
Incredible!
4/6/2015
Eileen W. says: I was diagnosed with dystonia which affects my neck movement ability. Specialists such as neurologists, rehabilitation doctors suggest Botox injections which has side affect and not a long term solution. I had acupuncture in nearby NYC area and not much improvement. I found Dr. Fan and had great improvement under his treatment. And Dr. Fan is extremely kind and patient. Many thanks to Dr. Fan! Eileen
Very Helpful
4/6/2015
Gwen D. says: Dr. Fan amazes me with his ability to help me with multiple things. I have seen him in the past on other issues, and he has helped me greatly. I tend to be very stressed out and when I am with Dr. Fan, I feel my anxiety level drop. He is kind, understanding and extremely knowledgeable. Dr. Fan his assistant, Sarah, are excellent.
Very astute in diagnosis and treatment
2/8/2015
Scott B. says: I daresay, Dr. Fan has added years to my life. Very early in my chronic lymphocytic leukemia Dr. Fan intervened with a combination of herbs and acupuncture that has kept my cell counts stabilized since 2009–and at a juncture where it is too early for western medicine to intervene. From my vantage, Dr. Fan is most astute for both his skills of diagnosis and week-by-week treatment. Incidentally, for anyone with an interest, I recommend the book “Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine,” by Beinfield and Korngold.
Magical Doctor
1/23/2015
Deborah L. says: I have been going to Dr. Fan now for years when I have a medical issue I’m confident he can treat. When I experienced back issues years ago, I saw a orthopedic doctor, tried a chiropractor, physical therapy and pain medication. It was then I decided to give acupuncture a try. How fortunate that I found Dr. Fan. A very informed physician who was gentle and caring. After only a few treatments which included cupping, I was cured. To this day years later, I have not had any back issues. He is now treating me for acid reflux. I so recommend his treatment – just amazing.
Alternative medicine treatment for hypertension,insomnia and others
11/26/2014
May T. says: Dr Fan treated my hypertension and a myriad of other aches and pains. His knowledge of western and Chinese medicine blends a wholistic approach in his treatment. He is patient and gentle as a doctor. Determined to avoid getting on medication to treat hypertension, I started a diet and exercise regime but only to limited results. Only after I began accupuncture did my blood pressure begin to normalize. My husband also sees him for insomnia which has helped.
Dr. Fan has done wonders!
11/2/2014
Al P. says: Dr. Fan has done wonders for both my wife and me. My wife had lingering multiple small blood clots in her lower leg area. Her vascular surgeon had told she needed to be on blood thinners for the rest of her life. Plus, she would have to wait for the clots to reobsorb back into her blood. Inside two weeks of treatment from Dr. Fan, the clots were gone. After my knee replacement the swelling was not going down. I was told that at my age it would take a much longer time frame. Three weeks of visits to Dr. Fan the swelling was completely reversed. We both whole heartedly recommend Dr. Fan.
Larry A
9/12/2014
Larry A. says: I believe I am very fortunate to have found Dr. Fan. I could not be happier and I am a severe critic, so I believe Dr. Fan is tops. Dr. Fan took his time to explain the procedures before they happened and made sure I understood the message he was telling me. Thank you Dr. Fan
Feeling much better
9/4/2014
Phannee W. says: Having been a patient of Dr. Fan for a while, I am very grateful that he has cured most of my ailments and I would highly recommend him to other patients for acupuncture treatment..
Great Service and Very good doctor
9/2/2014
Maryam Z. says: I have really bad leg pain and I went to see Dr. Fan and explained him my situation. He took great interest in my leg pain and overall health issues and gave me a treatment plan which will help me to deal with my pain until its treated completely. He was not interested in money aspect of my treatment but was more keen to find a cure for my leg pain. I am very happy with his treatment strategy and after 3 sessions, I already to start feeling better.
Great!
8/13/2014
Gwen D. says: Dr. Fan is a wonderful doctor. He is interested in his patients, listens carefully to your issue, and proceeds with the treatment. I have seen Dr. Fan before and he was concerned about the symptoms I had experienced previously; making sure that was cleared up. His assistant is also very committed to the patients and practice. The office has a lovely peaceful aura, I felt good just walking in.
Good oriental medicine and doctor
7/23/2014
Eric T. says: I had went to see Dr. Fan because of pain and numbness in my hands, elbow, and wrist. The doctor at urgent care could not do anything but give my anti-inflammatory. But after seeing Dr. Fan and being treated with acupuncture and medicine he gave me, the symptoms have lighted and is decreasing daily. I would recommend that people with issues that most western medical doctors cannot treat to at least pay Dr. Fan a visit to see if anything can be done.
Five Star
4/27/2014
Al P. says: Both my wife and I have been seeing Dr. Fan for almost a year. He has been able to allow me to delay a total knee replacement for almost a year. And I am certain he will allow me to delay the operation until I am in a better position to have the operation on my terms. He also, in one treatment cleared my Carole tunnel node that was sticking out over an inch and stop the pain entirely. Dr. Fan has saved me from a repetitive operation on my wrist.
Professional and curteous
4/25/2014
Dr. Jerome W. says: Just started, so far everything is fine. I will have more to say when I an further into my treatment.
Made huge difference!
4/23/2014
Takeo Y. says: I had a great experience with Dr. Fan. Aggravated shoulder pain due to lifting heavy stuff on top of the old pain I had been suffering for a while was removed mostly after 3 sessions of acupuncture and cuppings. Will definitely go back to seek for his treatment if the needs arises.
Excited to finally experience alternative medicine
4/22/2014
Carmela & Brent B. says: For me and my husband, it was all positive energy and results. I can’t wait to complete the recommended treatment (2 times a week for 4 weeks), I know Dr. Fan will make a difference! My husband was satisfied after his first time treatment yesterday (4/21/14). After his 40 mins session, he felt like he slept for days and no pain all day.
Always awesome
2/7/2014
Diane H. says: Dr. Fan is wonderful. He has helped me overcome a paralyzed leg (skiing accident), increased the mobility of a surgically repaired shoulder, relieved migraines, and relieved vertigo induced by a concussion. He’s amazing!
Highly recommended!
1/16/2014
Meschelle L. says: I have been seeing Dr. Fan regularly for about 8 months. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs were new to me and I have greatly appreciated Dr. Fan’s knowledge, skills, and approach/demeanor. He and his office team are highly professional and organized as well. Dr. Fan has helped me tremendously with both benzodiazepine withdrawal and rheumatoid arthritis. I plan to make acupuncture and Chinese herbs a regular accompaniment to my healthcare from now on.
Outstanding
12/19/2013
Caron D. says: Dr. Fan has been successfully treating me for something western medicine hasn’t been able to achieve. He is very knowledgable, gentle, thorough and runs a very sanitary and organized office. I highly recommend Dr. Fan.
Outstanding !!!!
10/20/2013
Phil S. says: My wife and I have been going to Dr. Fan for years off and on for various treatments, proof is in the treatment when the pain associated with the condition, goes away. Dr. Fan is extremely helpful and knowledgeable about how to treat a problem. Very compassionate and takes the time to explain the his treatment plan.
Great Experience
10/19/2013
Gwen D. says: This was my first visit, I too was impressed with Dr. Fan’s compassion, understanding and patience with me. Both Dr. Fan and his assistant were wonderful. I am so glad that my friend recommended him.
The best doctor of Chinese medicine in the DC areas
10/9/2013
Jane C. says: I had shingles and the pain was awful. After a brief antivirus treatment my primary doctor at Kaiser Permanente could only give me strong pain killers (generic Percocet) to dull the pain. I was warned that the pain could last for months. So I turned to Dr. Fan for help. Within a week, my pain was gone under Dr. Fan’s care. I am very grateful to Dr. Fan!
Professional and attentive
9/25/2013
Dianna P. says: I have seen Dr. Fan only once so far, but can report that my experience was very good. I had acupuncture and felt better afterwards. I will continue to see him as I believe in the holistic approach to staying well.
More than accupuncture…
9/3/2013
Bill S. says: I have been seeing Dr. Fan for amost 2 years. The accupuncture has helped in so many ways. But, Dr. Fan will talk to you and get to know you. He has recommended teas, herbs and lifestyle changes that have been so benefitial to me. He is a wonderful wholistic healer. WRS
Chinese Medicine works
7/21/2013
Ruth B. says: Dr. Fan’s thoughtful analysis of our conditions each week help us with everything from swollen ankles to allergies to getting greater function in a hip replacement area to blood abnormalities. He and his office staff are pleasant, welcoming, and reassuring.
Dr. Fan is the best!
6/8/2013
Karen D. says: I feel very fortunate to have met Dr. Fan; he is very knowledgeable and skilled in his art. I sought Dr. Fan’s care for what a previous doctor diagnosed as facial nerve damage. Dr. Fan assessed the situation as chronic inflammation, and I have had a remarkable reversal. I couldn’t be more pleased with my transformation, and I highly recommend Dr. Fan. His staff is awesome too; thank you so much, Dr. Fan!
A Real Treasure
4/17/2013
George L. says: I have been a patient of Dr. Fan’s for some time now, and consider him to be a real treasure. Based on the effectiveness of his treatment, he is obviously a master acupuncturist and herbalist. He takes care to explain the nature of the treatment and to answer any questions related to it. I can wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Fan to anyone interested in acupuncture.
Great, compassionate doctor
3/30/2013
Anastasia C. says: Dr. Fan understood my problem and approached it with the utmost care. I’m very appreciative of the wonderful experience being his patient has been.
Mike B says:
3/5/2013
Michael B. says: I have seen Dr. Fan but one time, received accupuncture and something new to me, cupping. The cupping seems to have made my lower back pain, that I have been experiencing 24/7 for about four months, disappear. I have no fantasies about this being a forever thing, but I am optimistic that future visits will have nothing but positive effects on the many trouble spots of my body. Thank you Dr, Fan!
Keeps me balanced
3/1/2013
Jan Y. says: Dr. Fan keeps me balanced and when I have congestion he opens up my sinuses. Doesn’t matter what I go in for, he always seems to have a solution.
Great Dr of alternative medicine
12/22/2012
Sarah T. says: Sarah T. says: Dr Fan is very professional and extreamly knowledgeable about alternative and conventional medicine. He takes time to fully interview me each time I see him, regarding my symptoms and progress. Dr Fan fully understands herbal medicines and I trust his recommendations. I am seeing some success for my balance issues and expect to see additional progress. Thank you Dr Fan.
Thank You Dr. Fan !!
12/3/2012
William S. says: Both I and my wife have been seeing Dr. Fan for most of 2012. We are thoroughly satisfied with Dr. Fan’s kindness, awareness and manner in which he works with us. We could not think of a better environment in which to receive this kind of help. I have recommended Dr. Fan to others and, they are very well satisfied as well. Thank you Dr. Fan!!!
Richard & Arlene
10/16/2012
Arlene R. says: Dr. Fan was recommended to us and my husband went first. Richard came home relieved of his pain so he than he took me in to see Dr. Fan. I been having back and hip pain for 20 years and now after 3 sessions I can sleep on my right hip with no pain. The best customer service to both of us, he gives us great advice on health care. I don’t know why I waited so long to see him!! I highly recommend Dr. Fan and my husband and I always feel very relaxed while getting our treatment together and we love the music that just soothes our whole being!!!
Great !
5/29/2012
Bill S. says: WRS – I am a new patient. I have seen Dr. Fan twice. My initial evaluation was very informative. Dr. Fan discussed alternatives and diet. My first few days were much better. On the second visit, I was complaining of back pain. When I wakled to my car after the accupuncture treatment I realized… “hey!! no more pain!!”. I recommend McLean Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine and Dr. Yin Fan.
THE BEST DOCTOR IN ALEXANDRIA
4/17/2012
Simara C. says: I have severe back pain and I have to say that everytime I come to see Dr. Fan, he really takes care of me and makes the pain go away. I usually get spasms where sometimes I can’t even move and/or walk straight. He is always concerned, he gives very good advice and is extremely skilled and helpful. His technique is amazing and I never feel whenever he puts the needles in. The cupping is also amazing- which most of the time are done by his great assisstant, April. Dr. Fan along with April give the best customer service and the best treatment. His office is very pleasant, always clean and organized and I always feel very relaxed while I’m getting my treatment with the chinese music he has in every patient room. I feel very lucky to be his patient and I plan to keep going to him as long as I need to.
Wonderful!
3/19/2012
Susan G. says: I am very happy to have found Dr. Fan over a year ago. He is very patient, gentle and understanding and uses his knowledge to help with various issues, like neck and back pain. His assistant is also kind and skilled.
Sarah & Scott
2/8/2012
Sarah L. says: I was very impressed at Dr. Fan’s level of organization and ability to handle multiple clients. He conducted a thorough interview of both my husband and myself and provided treatment. Dr. Fan was very knowledgeable and the things he suggested made sense. He and his assistant are very compassionate and thoughtful individuals and we feel fortunate to have found him.
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Cervical dystonia case

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Yesterday, a 44 years old lady came and hugged me very tightly for three minutes. And then told me she got pregnant naturally after my acupuncture treatment.

She said she should be my no.76 clients got pregnant–because she had seen there was a notes on the office board-75 pregnancy since 2007.

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国医节的回顾与前瞻

(作者:陳明 三藩市 )http://singtaousa.com/031811/sq01.php

三月十七日,是中國第八十二屆國醫節。八十二年前的一九二九年,任上海醫院醫務長的醫生余雲岫,早年留學日本,受日本明治維新取締漢醫的影響,主張「廢醫存藥」,他向南京國民政府提出《廢止舊醫以掃除醫事律法之障礙案》。此案經南京國民政府衛生部召開的第一屆中央衛生委員會之議通過,準備正式施行。中醫面臨生死存亡的鬥爭。兵書有云:「置於死地而後生」。國民政府通過廢止中醫法案,把中醫醫務人員推向背水之戰,全國中醫界空前團結,群起反對。結果取得了勝利,並定每年三月十七日為「國醫節」。

中醫是中華民族幾千年來生產生活實踐和與疾病鬥爭逐步形成並不斷豐富發展起來的醫學科學,為中華民族的繁衍昌盛作出了重要貢獻,對世界文明進步也產生了積極的影響。一百多年前隨著華人移民到美國,也把中醫中藥帶到美國。據筆者所知,第一位來美國的中醫師就是黎普泰,他是廣東順德人,一八五四年四月,黎普泰在《金山日新錄》(The Golden Hills’ News)刊登中醫館廣告。以此算起,中醫中藥傳入美國三藩市已有一百六十年。

黎普泰的中醫館最初設在華埠華盛頓街,後遷至都板街夾企李街的錦生堂樓上。黎普泰以中藥治療奇難雜症,名揚遐邇。由於求醫甚眾,他一個人難以應付,便叫他的外甥譚富園來幫忙。  譚富園就讀於北京太醫院,是當時全國唯一的最高中醫學府。一八九零年譚來三藩市,襄助普泰醫館,聲名鵲起。三年後因黎普泰病逝,譚的父親譚子山在廣州行醫,命他回去幫忙,譚富園便回到廣州。

一八九四年,富園攜妻子及三子一女來加州,在南加州的列連埠(Redlands)創立富園醫局(Foo and Wing Herb Co.)。由於富園醫術精湛,妙手回春,聲譽日隆,引起西人醫師的妒忌,在報上攻擊中醫中藥不科學。譚富園把自己的醫案交給記者發表,證明中醫的奧妙,其功效一點也不遜於西醫,甚至有些西醫無法治療的奇難雜症,中醫能夠對症下藥,藥到病除。這場關於中醫是不是科學的筆戰,由於富園既有理論,又有治癒病例醫案佐證,終於取得了最後勝利,為弘揚中醫中藥作出了貢獻。

但是,歧視中醫中藥,並不因譚富園的貢獻而結束。一八九九年創辦金山華人仁濟醫院,只設西醫部,沒有中醫部,當時旅美華人有病多喜歡中醫診治,仁濟與華僑需求有矛盾,一年後停辦。

一九零零年,華人在三藩市創辦東華醫局,一九二五年改為東華醫院,始設立中醫門診。可是,中醫中藥立法的道路,在美國還是十分漫長的。在美國的五十個州中,只有佔人口五十萬的內華達州,於一九七三年四月二十日通過第448號法案,第一次為中醫中藥立法,在法律面前承認中醫中藥的合法地位。而作為中醫中藥的兩大重鎮的加州和紐約州,至今仍沒有取得合法地位。目前中醫中藥唯一生存空間,就是在美國把中藥當作「保健品」經營。「中藥」的經營不是某個人某個組團的專利,藥材舖有商業牌照,就可開舖立市,有合法地位。「坐堂醫」開出保健菜單(處方),自然是合法的。中醫師在美國名不正言不順,美國學界稱中醫中藥為「替代醫學」。美國醫學會的標誌是「蛇」,奧巴馬醫改法案只有「蛇」,而不見有中醫中藥的「龍」。美國只在商業上承認中藥作為保健商品的合法地位,而沒有作為醫療衛生的專業領域承認中醫中藥的合法地位,豈非咄咄怪事。

針灸是中醫的一個科目,而中醫才是主體,目前加州州政府只承認針灸合法,而不承認中醫中藥合法,確是本末倒置,令人費解。

在迎接第八十二屆國醫節的時候,筆者倡議全美國的中醫中藥醫務人員,不分甚麼政治觀點,不論甚麼宗教信仰,大家團結起來,為爭取中醫中藥的立法而鬥爭。在這裡,筆者提出四點建議:

第一,吸取內華達州中醫中藥立法的經驗,以針灸立法為突破口,繼承和發展前輩爭取中醫中藥立法精神。

第二,中醫中藥全體醫務人員團結起來,不要「岐黃相輕」,而要「岐黃相親」。不要「同行如敵國」,要「同行如一國」。兩岸關係不是「一中原則」嗎?我們中醫中藥醫務人員也要樹立「一中原則」,就是爭取中醫中藥立法的原則,一切言行都要以有利於中醫立法為原則。

第三,贊同加州執照針灸醫師公會會長沈華舒的意見「實行學院教育與師徒教育相結合」。中醫傳統教育,是先有師徒教育,後來才發展為學院教育。現在卻出現只重視中醫高等教育,而輕視名中醫的授徒教育。這兩者各有優點,學院重視系統教育,師徒則重視專長教育。前者注重理論修養,後者注重臨床經驗。把二者結合起來,取長補短,培養出一批既有高深的中醫基礎理論素養又有豐富臨床診療技術水平的醫務人員,才能投入美國主流社會,征服美國社會民眾,進而為中醫中藥立法創造充分條件。

第四,把中醫中藥提高到哲學思想和世界觀來認識。過去一些著名中醫稱為「儒醫」,就是他有具有儒家思想的根底。也有一些道觀的道士為名中醫,就是他們具有道家養生的根底。可見,沒有真正認識和領會儒家和道家的哲學思想和世界觀,也就不可能真正瞭解和領會中醫中藥的真諦。中醫中藥是姓「中」,即使你已入了美國籍,但只要你是中醫中藥的醫務人員,你就永遠改變不了姓「中」。中醫中藥是中華民族文化的瑰寶之一,只有維護民族的特色,才有利於中醫中藥的走向世界,而要做到這一點,其根源正是淵源於儒家和道家的思想。

近年來,加州華裔參政人士取得很大的成績,我們希望這些參政的華裔官員和議員,不要忘記支持你們走向政壇的華裔選民。你們最好的回報,就是利用你們力所能及的影響,爭取中醫中藥早日立法。

 

 

 

譚頴秀 – 註册針灸師 http://kaywin.ca/WellnessCentre/LingLanWellnessCentre.aspx

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譚氏曾祖父譚富園公受其父親中醫譚子山之薰陶, 就讀於北京太醫院學習中醫,曾在清朝末年任太醫,後跟隨舅父中醫師黎普泰(第一位到美國之中醫師),到美國三藩市行醫,再與康有為弟子在南加州的列連埠(Redlands)創立富園醫局。由於富園公醫術精湛,妙手回春,引起西人醫師的妒忌,在報上攻擊中醫中藥不科學化。富園公把自己之醫案交給記者發表,證明中醫之奧妙,其功效一點也不遜於西醫,甚至有些西醫無法治療之奇難雜症,中醫也能夠對症下藥,藥到病除。這場關於中醫是不是科學化之筆戰,由於富園公既有理論,又有治癒病例醫案佐證,終於取得了最後之勝利,為弘揚中醫中藥作出了貢獻。其四子譚少富繼承衣砵在加州行醫,退休後回港飬老。那時譚氏年幼未能跟隨叔公學習中醫,但他留下不少清代名醫陳修園之書籍及治療札記,令譚氏獲益良多。

譚氏從小移民來加,初習太極,後醉心於氣功,不斷研習各派氣功如少林禪功、道家氣功及治療氣功(五雷神針和日本靈氣)等。因先祖均是中醫,耳濡目染,便到加拿大中醫藥學院(北京首都醫科大學分校)修讀中醫針灸,畢業後跟隨多倫多中醫針灸臨床學院創始人沈清瑞中醫師學習運用多種臨床針灸療法。譚氏所用之治療針法,不限於傳統針法。她辨証論治,根據不同患者之病患,施以不同療法,例如:薄氏腹針、董氏奇穴、王氏刺血及黃氏耳穴等。譚氏精於氣功,扎針時運用五雷神針指法將氣輸入患者體內,同時配合氣功、靈氣或水晶療法等,推動患者體內之內氣,喚醒患者體內沉睡的臟器起來工作。本着醫者父母心,用心與患者共同對抗病魔,達到理想療效。

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J Sex Med. 2010 Feb;7(2 Pt 2):981-95. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

The ACTIV study: acupuncture treatment in provoked vestibulodynia.

Source

Elements of Health Centre, Victoria, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a distressing genital pain condition affecting 12% of women. Treatment modalities vary and although vestibulectomy has the highest efficacy rates, it is usually not a first-line option. Acupuncture has a long history in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system and operates on the premise that pain results from the blockage or imbalance of important channels. The main principle of treatment is to move Qi and blood to cease genital pain.

AIM:

To explore effect sizes and feasibility in a pilot study of acupuncture for women with PVD.

METHODS:

Eight women with PVD (mean age 30 years) underwent 10 1-hour acupuncture sessions. Specific placement of the needles depended on the woman’s individual TCM diagnosis. TCM practitioners made qualitative notes on participants’ feedback after each session. Main Outcome Measures. Self-reported pain (investigator-developed), pain-associated cognitions (Pain Catastrophizing Scale [PCS], Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire), and sexual response (Female Sexual Function Index) were measured before and after treatment sessions 5 and 10. Qualitative analyses of TCM practitioner notes were performed along with one in-depth case report on the experience of a participant.

RESULTS:

A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed significant decreases in pain with manual genital stimulation and helplessness on the PCS. An examination of effect sizes also revealed strong (though nonsignificant) effects for improved ability to have intercourse and sexual desire. Qualitative analyses were overall more positive and revealed an improvement in perceived sexual health, reduced pain, and improved mental well-being in the majority of participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Effect sizes and qualitative analyses of practitioner-initiated interviews showed overall positive effects of acupuncture, but there were statistically significant improvements only in pain with manual genital stimulation and helplessness. These findings require replication in a larger, controlled trial before any definitive conclusions on the efficacy of acupuncture for PVD can be made.

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Fertil Steril. 2012 Mar;97(3):599-611. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Source

Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes.

DESIGN:

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

PATIENT(S):

Women undergoing IVF in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) who were evaluated for the effects ofacupuncture on IVF outcomes.

SETTING:

Not applicable.

INTERVENTION(S):

The intervention groups used manual, electrical, and laser acupuncture techniques. The control groups consisted of no, sham, and placebo acupuncture.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

The major outcomes were clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and live birth rate (LBR). Heterogeneity of the therapeutic effect was evaluated with a forest plot analysis. Publication bias was assessed by a funnel plot analysis.

RESULT(S):

Twenty-four trials (a total of 5,807 participants) were included in this review. There were no significant publication biases for most of the comparisons among these studies. The pooled CPR (23 studies) from all of the acupuncture groups was significantly greater than that from all of the control groups, whereas the LBR (6 studies) was not significantly different between the two groups. The results were different when the type of control was examined in a sensitivity analysis. The CPR and LBR differences between the acupuncture and control groups were more obvious when the studies using the Streitberger control were ignored. Similarly, if the underlying effects of the Streitberger control were excluded, the LBR results tended to be significant when the acupuncture was performed around the time of oocyte aspiration or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.

CONCLUSION(S):

Acupuncture improves CPR and LBR among women undergoing IVF based on the results of studies that do not include the Streitberger control. The Streitberger control may not be an inactive control. More positive effects from using acupuncture in IVF can be expected if an appropriate control and more reasonable acupuncture programs are used.

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Acupuncture Today, April, 2012, Vol. 13, Issue 04      http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32551

Real Acupuncture or Real World Acupuncture? Deciphering Acupuncture Studies in the News .  By Matthew Bauer, LAc

Recent studies have concluded that acupuncture is no more effective than various forms of sham or placebo acupuncture, and these conclusions have been reported in the media and used by skeptics to discredit acupuncture.

The Oriental medical (OM) community’s response to these reports has been ineffective, perhaps counterproductive. These studies, and the resulting media coverage, can serve was a wake-up call to the OM community, alerting us that we need to be more proactive in our public education efforts and rethink some long-held beliefs regarding the efficacy of traditional theories.

In the News 

In the last few years, several studies sought to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating common conditions.1,2,3 The findings of these studies were widely reported within the media.4,5,6 The good news for the Oriental medicine (OM) profession is that these studies found that acupuncture was not only effective, but often more effective than conventional therapies. The bad news is that these studies also found that traditional acupuncture techniques – based on the point/channel theories taught inOMschools – were no more effective than what is termed “sham” or “placebo” acupuncture.

The most recent of these studies, published in the May 11, 2009 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and sometimes referred to as the “Seattle” study, built on other recent studies and is a good example of current acupuncture research. One of the conclusions this study’s authors reached is particularly striking:

“Collectively, these recent trials provide strong and consistent evidence that real acupuncture needling using the Chinese Meridian system is not more effective for chronic low back pain than various purported forms of sham acupuncture.”

As someone who has treated thousands of people with chronic low back pain using the Chinese meridian system, my first reaction to this statement was to feel the researchers were mistaken. But, I also respect scientific research and feel it would be a great mistake for those of us in the OM profession to criticize these studies just because they tell us something we don’t want to hear, without looking critically at both the studies and our own beliefs.

Real Vs. Real World 

The only evidence these studies actually provide is that so-called “real” acupuncture is not more effective than sham acupuncture in a controlled, clinical trial environment. I believe this detail is of critical importance. But, before I explain why this detail is of such importance, I want to critique the response to these studies from within the OM profession.

Up to this point, the sparse response from theOMfield to these studies has been limited to pointing out that there are many acupuncture points including hundreds of extra points, so “sham” acupuncture is still hitting acupuncture points. Regarding studies that use “placebo” techniques in which acupuncture is simulated with the skin unbroken, some acupuncturists have pointed to tapping techniques, common in Japanese acupuncture, that never pierce the skin. While there is some merit to these arguments, they ignore the greater problem with these studies and make theOMprofession sound to the public like we are grasping at straws and making excuses. If researchers can’t help but hit useful points no matter how hard they try to avoid them, why should anyone bother seeking treatment from people trained in the complex traditional theories that stress diagnosing qi imbalances to identify the best point prescriptions?

The primary problem with these studies is not that researchers inadvertently performed real acupuncture when they attempted to do sham or placebo acupuncture, but that the real acupuncture seriously underperformed. Most of these studies show the real acupuncture groups to be somewhere in the 45-60% effective range. Only 45-60%? If I was only getting 45-60% positive effect for my patients, I would never have been able to build my practice and support my family for the last 23 years. Ask any clinically successful acupuncturist, and they will tell you for common pain problems like low back pain, the average range of effectiveness is somewhere between 75-85%.

Obviously, something about the design of these studies does not capture what happens in the real world when using acupuncture to treat these conditions. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough studies that reflect what happens in the real world because most of the money for research has gone to the “controlled” studies using sham and placebo controls, and the type of patient contact that happens in real world treatment is not allowed. None of these recent studies allowed the acupuncturist who did the needling to consult with the patient and choose points and techniques.

In most of these studies, a set of points were prescribed and used repeatedly regardless of the patient’s progress, or lack thereof. TheSeattlestudy was the only study that attempted to mimic actual practice by having a diagnostic acupuncturist see one group of patients before each treatment. This diagnostician chose the points to be used based on traditional diagnostic rationale, but then these points were passed along to the treating acupuncturist who did the actual needling.

Qi Interaction

Will it affect the outcome if the acupuncturist who inserts the needles is not allowed to interact with the patient and choose what points and techniques to use? It shouldn’t matter, if acupuncture only stimulates specific nerve endings, causing mechanical neuro-chemical responses within the body. But, if acupuncture actually works by manipulating qi, as its founders and supporters have claimed for more than 2,000 years, then there is very good reason to believe that the qi dynamic between the acupuncturist and the patient is an important factor that must be considered.

The first day I interned in the private practice of my school’s clinic director, he asked me to take charge of treating a very difficult case. When I balked and said I thought I was too inexperienced to manage such a difficult case, my teacher told me that my sincere enthusiasm created a positive qi that helped to offset my lack of experience. Over the years, I have come to believe the acupuncturist’s qi can be as important as the points themselves. Points do matter, but the effect these points elicit is influenced by the qi of the one stimulating them. Like yin and yang, there is a combination of both factors at play: different points have different tendencies regarding how they influence a patient’s qi dynamics, but that tendency is influenced by the qi of the person manipulating the points. Because this fact is rarely discussed in acupuncture circles, researchers have not taken this into account in their studies.

Skeptics have long contended that acupuncture only works if the patient believes in it (ignoring the effects of veterinary acupuncture or animal studies), but it may be more important that acupuncturists believe in what they are doing. The best practitioners with the highest success rates put everything they have into every treatment – into every needle or patient contact. We choose points and techniques because we believe they are very best for our patients, and that belief influences the effects of the points. Any acupuncturist who puts needles in a patient not believing it to be the very best they can do is inserting those needles with less than optimal qi.

Unlike administering drugs or performing surgery, which manipulates the body in a more mechanical fashion, influencing qi dynamics is more dependant on subtle factors, including the qi of the one doing the manipulating. This may sound like what skeptics call “woo-woo” – irrational, new age mysticism — but it is a key part of acupuncture’s traditional foundation and deserves consideration. Before jumping to conclusions about traditional concepts, we should encourage studies using acupuncture in a way that reflects what takes place in the real world. Let’s study what happens to patients when treated in actual clinic conditions with no blinding or controls, in which the acupuncturist does whatever their years of training and experience leads them to believe is the best they can do for each patient. Don’t limit them in their techniques and communication with the patient, because such limits are not imposed in real world practice. And don’t refer to acupuncture being done under research constrained controls as “real” acupuncture, because it does not resemble the manner in which acupuncture is done in actual practice.

These studies point to sobering realities theOMprofession needs to face. We cannot ignore the fact that in study after study in which researchers stimulated points in a manner that seemed incompatible with traditional Chinese medicine protocols, a respectable percentage of test subjects experienced significant improvement. So while it may be fact that the best trained and most experienced acupuncturists will obtain 75-85% effectiveness rates for their patients, it may also be a fact that poking some needles virtually anywhere will get 40%-50%, sometimes even 60% effectiveness. (See sidebar.) If that is the case, then the value of comprehensive traditional training and years of experience may be in getting that extra 20-30% of successful outcomes.

I am not surprised that poking needles anywhere can help a decent percentage of pain-related cases because I believe any acupuncture stimulates the body to produce anti-trauma chemistry such as pain modifiers and anti-inflammatory compounds. That is why I was never strongly opposed to other health care professionals being able to legally do some acupuncture. I have long felt that rather than fighting to prevent other health care professionals from having the right to perform acupuncture, theOMprofession should be trying to educate these other professions that the more comprehensive training allows for that additional 20-30% effectiveness. In a spirit of mutual respect, we could encourage other health care professionals to refer their more difficult cases to us. This suggestion may not be welcomed by some, but theOMprofession must be open to evolve with the times.

Regardless of how we approach the issue of other health care professionals using acupuncture in their practices, the recent studies and media reporting of their findings should make one thing very clear: The OM profession needs to be much more proactive both in encouraging research that better reflects real-world acupuncture and in educating the public and media about OM and the OM profession. TheOMprofession has never mounted a comprehensive, multi-year, public education campaign. We have never seen fit to make such a campaign a priority. This must change. We cannot continue to leave the manner in whichOMis perceived by the public and portrayed within the media to outside forces. For too many years, our profession has acted as if all we have to do is raise education standards and do the good work of helping people and the rest would take care of itself. The conclusions of these studies and the media reports that followed should be making it clear that this is not the case.

Conclusion

If it were true that getting successful results does not depend on where one puts the needles, then every first-year acupuncture intern would get the same results as their most experienced teachers, which is not the case. While it seems to be true that having positive qi can make up for lack of experience, almost any acupuncturist will tell you that they get better results with experience. After training and licensure, acupuncturists typically spend the next several years of their careers learning more techniques and theories to add to their arsenal. Why do we do this? Because we learn that sometimes your Plan A or Plan B does not get results, so you better have a Plan C, D, and E as back-up if you want to get the highest degree of success. If it did not matter where you put the needles, no one would bother to keep learning additional techniques and the robust continuing education offerings out there would cease to exist.

We OM professionals, who work our tails off helping our patients, know how valuable our services are and we know that points do matter. We are buoyed by the gratitude of our patients, even as they tell us how they wished they had known aboutOMsooner and wonder why more people don’t take advantage of this safe healing resource. We don’t have to manipulate the facts to educate the public, media, and policymakers about what we have to offer, but we do have to guard against allowing the facts to be manipulated against us. There are acupuncture researchers who have a greater grasp of the subtle dynamics of clinical acupuncture, including the Society for Acupuncture Research, and the OM profession should do more to familiarize ourselves with their work and to encourage that the real-world effects of OM is given its just due.

References

  1. Haake M, Mueller HH, Schade-Brittinger C, et al. German acupuncture trials (GERAC) for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(17):1892-1898.
  2. Cherkin D, Sherman K, Avins A, et al. A randomized trial comparing acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and usual care for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):858-866.
  3. Moffet HH. Sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture: A systematic review of clinical trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(3):213-6.
  4. Bankhead C. Acupuncture tops conventional therapy for low-back pain. MedPage Today, 2007. www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/AlternativeMedicine/6770. Accessed October 11, 2009.
  5. Doheny K. Acupuncture may ease chronic back pain. WebMD Health News, 2009.www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20090511/acupuncture-may-ease-chronic-back-pain. Accessed October 11, 2009.
  6. Park A. Acupuncture for bad backs: Even sham therapy works. Time.Com, 2009.www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1897636,00.html. Accessed October 11, 2009.
  7. Amaro J. Is most of acupuncture research a “sham?” Acupuncture Today. August 2009;10(8).www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32013. Accessed October 11, 2009.

About the Studies 

The two main trials referenced in this article are the German Acupuncture Trails (GERAC) for chronic low back pain and that carried out in both the Center for Health Studies,Seattle,Wash.and the Division of Research, Northern California Kaiser Permanente,Oakland,Calif.that is sometimes called the “Seattle Study.”

In the German trails, 1,162 patients were randomized into groups receiving “real” acupuncture, “sham” acupuncture, or conventional therapy. Participants underwent 10 30-minute sessions usually at 2 treatments a week for 5 weeks. An additional five treatments were offered to those who had partial response to treatment. The “real” acupuncture groups were needled at points traditionally believed to be beneficial for lower back pain while the sham acupuncture involved superficial needling at non-traditional points. At 6 months, positive response rate was 47.6% in the real acupuncture group, 44.2% in the sham acupuncture group, and 27.4% in the conventional therapy group.

In theSeattlestudy, 638 adults with uncomplicated low back pain of 3-12 months duration were randomized into four groups: individualized acupuncture, standardized acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and conventional care. In the individualized acupuncture groups, a “diagnostic acupuncturist” considered the patient’s progress and prescribed points according to traditional theory. The prescribed points were then needled by the treating acupuncturist. The standardized group employed a set of points traditionally considered helpful in treating low back pain that were used throughout the treatment series. The simulated group had the same points as used in the standardized group but toothpicks were used to simulate the feeling of acupuncture. The treatments were done using back points so subjects could not see the needles. Treatments in the first three groups were done by experienced acupuncturists and consisted of two treatments a week for three weeks then once a week for four weeks.

At eight weeks, mean dysfunction scores for the first three groups were 4.5, 4.5, and 4.4 points compared to 2.1 points for conventional care. Symptoms improved by 1.6 to 1.9 points in the first three groups and 0.7 in the conventional care group.

While I emphasize the need to distinguish what both of these studies refer to as “real” acupuncture from that which is practiced in the real world of clinical acupuncture settings, the Seattle Study did make note that its design had limitations, including restricting treatment to a single component of TCM (needling), pre-specification of the number and duration of treatment, and limited communication between the patient and acupuncturist. While I applaud this study’s authors for mentioning these limitations, the conclusions they reached regarding the “strong and consistent evidence” that real acupuncture is not more effective than sham acupuncture indicate they did not consider these limitations too significant.


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