Many of you are probably familiar with Dr. Andrew Weil, who is a champion of integrative medicine and a best-selling author and speaker. His quote above concerning medical doctors and TCM training highlights the importance of a well-rounded approach to healing. Acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions. Combining Eastern and Western medicine is the best route for some individuals. However, relying on a medical doctor without the appropriate training to perform acupuncture is potentially dangerous and an almost surefire way to miss out on the benefits.
To experience the healing associated with both forms of medicine, it’s essential to see a licensed acupuncturist in addition to your regular physician, or find a physician who is fully qualified to offer acupuncture. Acupuncture and Western medicine each have a different set of diagnostic criteria. You wouldn’t expect an acupuncturist to prescribe antibiotics. In the same vein, you can’t expect an M.D., without an education in traditional Chinese medicine, to effectively treat illness with acupuncture. The thousands of hours of training necessary to obtain a license in acupuncture are essential for understanding the ancient practice.
Integrative medicine addresses the patient as a whole (mind, body, and spirit). There’s no reason not to take advantage of conventional and alternative healing as long as your acupuncturist’s name is followed by L.Ac (or A.P. in Florida and D.O.M. in New Mexico) and your physician’s title includes the abbreviation M.D. or both. Visiting the appropriate practitioner for your different wellness needs ensures the best chance of successfully overcoming almost any condition. Just be sure to keep both your licensed acupuncturist and doctor apprised of all diagnoses and treatment so that they can use their respective fields of knowledge to offer the best care possible.
To find a licensed acupuncturist in your area, visit TryAcupuncture.org. You will have peace of mind knowing that the practitioner is fully qualified.