Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On Acupuncture - Novella vs. Wiesner 2009-05:

here, I cite three recent web pages regarding acupuncture representing two positions hugely at odds: Yale academic neurologist Novella, S. (MD) and "natural medicine" practitioner Wiesner, A. (ND). The former states that the science indicates acupuncture doesn't work [see 001., below], the latter, that it's amazing [see 002., below] and that the completely science-ejected is in fact scientific [see 003., below]:

001. Novella, S. (MD GUSM) states in "More on Acupuncture" :

"what the evidence tells us so far is that is does not matter if or where you stick acupuncture needles. These are the two variables specific to acupuncture. Therefore, acupuncture does not work. The ritual surrounding the use of acupuncture likely has some non-specific effects, and there are the usual biases and artifacts that constitute placebo effects. But acupuncture itself appears to be worthless. There is no other rational interpretation of existing evidence, despite all the misdirections of proponents who are trying to turn scientific logic on its head [...] scientific conclusion - it does not matter where or even if you stick the needles, i.e. acupuncture does not work [...in sum,] it doesn’t work. Give it up. Move on."

Note: this is hugely at-odds with what follows.

002. Wiesner, A. (ND UBCNM, LAc UBCNM):

002.a. is written about and quoted in "Naturopathic Physician Employs Acupuncture in Her Practice", as reported by Czaplinski, K. (? ?):

"naturopathic, or natural, medicine acknowledges that the body has an innate ability to heal itself with the right direction [{IATHI; more on this coding in my n01., below}...] Dr. Wiesner, who has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist [...and is] a faculty physician at the University of Bridgeport Naturopathic Medical Clinic [...has] studied the human body in a modern medical way [{see n02., below}...] Dr. Wiesner’s practice offers an array of techniques, including herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutritional supplements, and color therapy [{!!!}...acupuncture is an] ancient practice [that] stems from a belief [!!!; quite] that illness is caused when vital pathways through the body are interrupted or are off balance. Acupuncture rebuilds those connections and clears pathways [{again, see n01., below}...] acupuncture can improve muscle tone and dermal contraction, increase collagen production and improve metabolism to counteract the look of lines, wrinkles and under-eye circles, Dr. Wiesner said. It can also lift droopy eyelids and minimize double chins while addressing imbalance[s] in the body that could accelerate aging [really!...] 'I think my patients are lucky. [Natural medicine] is an amazing tool to have in your belt' [see 004., below]."

Note: as is the case so often, this premise isn't fully fleshed out. See notes for 002.b., below.

002.b. and Wiesner states in "About Natural Medicine":

"naturopathic medicine [...is] founded upon a holistic philosophy [{this is code for 'this is a sectarian system / a belief system'...NDs are] educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. [{see n.02., below}...] naturopathic medicine is appropriate for the management of a broad range of health conditions affecting all people of all ages [{yikes!}...] the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training [...including] acupuncture [and] homeopathic medicine [...] a naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams [see n02., below] so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician [{yikes!}...] traditional Chinese medicine [...per a] Master of Science in Acupuncture [{see n02., below}...] acupuncture utilizes hair-thin needles on specific points on the body to move energy (qi) and balance the meridians [see n01., below}]."

Notes:

n01. regarding IATHI / qi / energy / vital pathways, if we go to the alma mater of this ND, the University of Bridgeport [I sat there in classes with Wiesner, by the way, when we were both students], we can get the whole context of that which naturopathy / "natural medicine" bases itself upon:

UB states in "Six Guiding Principles. Guiding Principle #1":

"guiding principle # 1: the healing power of nature, viz medicatrix naturae: the body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician's role is to facilitate and augment this process."

This is of course the science-ejected concept of vitalism.


003. so, when is what's "amazing" and "rigorous" and 'science-based' and "a modern medical way"

that which is

completely imaginary / of 'article of faith belief status' [vitalistic entities / 'purposeful life spirits' that magically run the body!] and simply placebo and specifically 'don't work' in a quite "worthless" kind of manner...

naturopathy / natural medicine!

Wherein, belief sets / sectarian constellations are falsely labeled scientific, aka where what isn't science [profoundly] is mislabeled science.
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