Response to Newsweek Article

Response to Newsweek Article

I have copied below a response that I posted online to an article written by the medical reporter David Noonan that appeared in the January 26 issue of Newsweek titled, “My elbow is killing me!”  Hits on a couple of issues that are near and dear to my heart.  I failed to mention in my response to David that I felt strongly that the health issues he mentions, the garden-variety aches and pains that so many people suffer with on a daily basis, are exactly the types of conditions that acupuncture treats most effectively, with the cost effectiveness.

David,

I enjoyed your article, and was particularly interested in your description of how alluring the media often finds the newest, sexiest, most technically exciting elements of modern medicine.  All while many people suffer with some level of the “garden-variety aches and pains”, that go relatively unexplored by the media.  I am an acupuncturist, and have noticed a parallel trend in how people approach my branch of medicine.  
I am shocked by how much interest there is, from the media, other medical providers and the public in general, in some of the applications of acupuncture that are very much outside the mainstream practice of our medicine.  Acupuncture anesthesia (in which surgery is performed using only acupuncture as anesthesia), its ability to flip breech babies, as well as its use for weight loss and smoking cessation are all areas of our medicine which may hold some clinical value, but they are all far outside acupuncture’s mainstream bread and butter applications.

Acupuncture’s ability to effectively treat the common every day discomforts which, as you ably point out, afflict a shockingly large percentage of our society (who doesn’t have a family member who suffers regularly with back pain, knee pain, hip pain, painful periods, or even yes, elbow pain), has been known for literally thousands of years.  Its efficacy to do so has recently been demonstrated repeatedly in a steady stream of well designed, large scale randomized controlled trials.  It is a constant source of mild frustration to me though, that more people seem more interested in its ability to help people quit smoking and make them look 10 years younger, rather than the more traditional uses where it has excelled for millennia.

Adam Learner, Licensed Acupuncturist
alearner@acufamily.com
www.acufamily.com

Author
Adam Learner, L Ac. Adam Learner, LAc, provides functional medicine and acupuncture for the residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Family Acupuncture & Wellness. In his practice, he uses a holistic approach to medicine and emphasizes addressing causes, not symptoms.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Chronic Pain? Functional Medicine Can Help

Living with chronic pain can limit your life, in ways large and small. If you feel you’ve tried everything, but you’re still fighting pain, you may want to learn more about functional medicine for chronic pain.

5 Headache Trigger Foods and Beverages to Avoid

Not all headaches are avoidable, but you can bring some on unwittingly just by your choice of foods and drinks. These are called food triggers, and avoiding them may be the secret to sidestepping headaches.

How Acupuncture Eliminates Pain

Often in clinic patients want to know how acupuncture can take their pain away, immediately and long term. How does this work? Why does it work? Why would you put a needle way over there if my pain is right here!? There are two ways we can answer these que

How Acupuncture Improves Fertility in Women

When people find out that we specialize in the treatment of fertility issues, the vast majority of people are shocked to learn that acupuncture can significantly benefit couples that are struggling with fertility issues. The next questions we almost alway