Nixon’s Personal Physician Said Leave Acupuncture to the Professionals

  • Former President Nixon
  • licensed-acupuncturists

This warning was given more than 40 years ago by Dr. W. Kenneth Riland, the personal physician to President Nixon. Yet, his words ring just as true today. According to a piece published by the Macalester College Psychology Department, acupuncture fell into relative obscurity in the West until 1971, when a New York Times reporter fell ill with appendicitis while covering President Nixon’s trip to China. The surgeons in China successfully used acupuncture as anesthesia during the reporter’s surgery and after, to control post-operative pain. The ancient practice was back on the radar and gained traction in the West.

Dr. Riland worried that under-trained physicians would start incorporating acupuncture into their services. He was right. The success of the reporter’s surgery was likely due to the years of study the Chinese doctors underwent. As we all know, acupuncture isn’t just sticking needles into random points on the body in hopes of curing one symptom. It’s a comprehensive system of medicine that involves diagnostic criteria that differs drastically from that used in the West. Medical acupuncture courses are not in-depth enough to promise that a physician, who is merely certified and not licensed, will have the proper training in traditional Chinese medicine theory, precise needling techniques, the complex principles of meridians, energy, and organ systems, safety protocols, and more.

Even in the early days of acupuncture’s popularity in the Western world, medical doctors were aware of its effectiveness. The creation of the acupuncture license (L.Ac.) was an important development, as it ensured Eastern medicine was being practiced by knowledgeable, fully trained practitioners. The advent of medical acupuncture, chiropractic acupuncture, and dry needling crash courses has led to an influx of “practitioners” who have not spent the years necessary to master the healing art. The various levels of acupuncture training are confusing to the public, many of whom may equate M.D. with all types of medicine. Receiving medical acupuncture is on par with being prescribed antibiotics by an acupuncturist. Neither party is qualified to offer these treatments without a license.

While Dr. Riland predicted that, “acupuncture is going to be one of the greatest contributions that any group of people has made to the future of all medicine,” he included an important caveat: “if it is handled correctly by the people of the Western world.”

This warning was given more than 40 years ago by Dr. W. Kenneth Riland, the personal physician to President Nixon. Yet, his words ring just as true today. According to a piece published by the Macalester College Psychology Department, acupuncture fell into relative obscurity in the West until 1971, when a New York Times reporter fell ill with appendicitis while covering President Nixon’s trip to China. The surgeons in China successfully used acupuncture as anesthesia during the reporter’s surgery and after, to control post-operative pain. The ancient practice was back on the radar and gained traction in the West.

Dr. Riland worried that under-trained physicians would start incorporating acupuncture into their services. He was right. The success of the reporter’s surgery was likely due to the years of study the Chinese doctors underwent. As we all know, acupuncture isn’t just sticking needles into random points on the body in hopes of curing one symptom. It’s a comprehensive system of medicine that involves diagnostic criteria that differs drastically from that used in the West. Medical acupuncture courses are not in-depth enough to promise that a physician, who is merely certified and not licensed, will have the proper training in traditional Chinese medicine theory, precise needling techniques, the complex principles of meridians, energy, and organ systems, safety protocols, and more.

Dr. Riland went on to say:

Even in the early days of acupuncture’s popularity in the Western world, medical doctors were aware of its effectiveness. The creation of the acupuncture license (L.Ac.) was an important development, as it ensured Eastern medicine was being practiced by knowledgeable, fully trained practitioners. The advent of medical acupuncture, chiropractic acupuncture, and dry needling crash courses has led to an influx of “practitioners” who have not spent the years necessary to master the healing art. The various levels of acupuncture training are confusing to the public, many of whom may equate M.D. with all types of medicine. Receiving medical acupuncture is on par with being prescribed antibiotics by an acupuncturist. Neither party is qualified to offer these treatments without a license.

While Dr. Riland predicted that, “acupuncture is going to be one of the greatest contributions that any group of people has made to the future of all medicine,” he included an important caveat: “if it is handled correctly by the people of the Western world.”

To read the rest of this article, go to: http://weeklycupofqi.com/2013/06/20/preserving-the-value-of-the-l-ac-words-of-wisdom/

 

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Tian’s full name is Tian Nu San Hua which translates to Angel Throwing Flowers Throughout Chinese history, Tian Nu has been associated with many stories and legends. She is known as the bringer of good news, knowledge and truth and would deliver these gifts by spreading flowers. If you were lucky enough to be touched by one of her flowers, you would receive these valuable gifts. Later in Chinese Taoist history, it was said that Tian Nu spread flowers to help heal those suffering from an epidemic. Tian's News is the official blog for MCOM and is maintained by the Marketing Director of Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. Articles that are relevant to the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Herbs are shared as well as papers and articles written by MCOM graduates, current students, and faculty. Questions and concerns should be directed to mwcpublicist@aol.com

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