The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

TCM - Totally Crappy "Medicine"

As I am a massage therapist, I work at a clinic. This clinic offers acupuncture as one of its treatments. It annoys me, but I let it slide for the most part so I can have a pleasant work environment, although I do let my opinions be known if asked directly.

Because of the acupuncture, the clinic receives a newsletter called, "Eastern Currents". This is chock full of the strong woo and begs to be chopped at with the sharpest of skeptical axes. Let us take a few swings, shall we?

This flyer I have talks about the 9th Annual Canadian Oriental Medical Symposium and describes some of the events/seminars offered. For example, on Friday, March 9th there was a talk on "Facial Diagnosis" by someone named Lillian Bridges. Please read the description of the talk below:
Lillian's morning talk explores the signs of Jing deficiency on the face, and the markers that show what kinds of Qi need to be made to buffer the Jing. In her afternoon workshop, you will learn how to diagnose the Qi of the organs from the face. This information will be immediately applicable to clinical practice, giving more depth to your diagnoses and offering new point combinations for increasingly effective treatments where underlying emotions are involved.
Pretty straightforward, right? How many of us have tried to explain to our significant others that they have a Jing deficiency in their face? The hours that could have been saved if only I had seen the markers so I could go downstairs and make the correct plate of Qi to "buffer the Jing".

(Interesting side note: When Pete Best left the Beatles, he formed a short-lived trio named "Jingo & the Buffers". True story*)

This lady, Lillian Bridges, seems to be...weird. She believes that the face is "a hologram for who you are inside". Check out this video ("hologram" bit is at 1:14):Of course she has a book coming out. Of course she does.

Moving on (although I could spend a large amount of time back there on, "Jing deficiencies of the face"), some of the other talks/courses on offer at this conference include:

Hara Diagnoses - how to "engage the patient's Hara", whatever the hell THAT is.

Qi Gong for Cancer - The first line of the course description says that, "Qi Gong is the most extensively researched method of energy medicine in the world", but oddly when you check PubMed (here) you only get studies with researchers named either "Qi" or "Gong" and no actual papers on Qi Gong itself - the notable exception being the 18th listed paper entitled, "Effect and Mechanisms of Gong-tone music on the immunological function in rats with liver (Gan)-Qi depression and Spleen (Pi)-Qi deficiency syndrome in rats." Weird, huh? Maybe I'm not checking the right journals. Perhaps I should check in the journals that have...dammit...what's that called? Oh, right, "lower standards".

Contraindicated Acupuncture Points in Pregnancy - Hopefully they included the newly formed eyeball of the fetus. Wouldn't want to shove a needle through the mom's bellybutton and into the tiny face of the kidlet. Or maybe you do...especially if there's a deficiency of Jing.

So, yep, TCM is still full of absolute crap. The studies that come back positive for acupuncture are almost universally flawed in some critical way(s) and the well-controlled studies come back negative or neutral. I have no idea what the fuck a "Jing deficiency" is, nor to I care to find out. Any comments or educational tidbits are, as always, welcome.

*Not a true story

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1 Barbaric Yawps:

At 17/4/12 7:33 am, Anonymous Al Kimeea said...

Glad you're back

There's my take on acupuncture. Did you know back pain is a result of gamma rays and the treatment is needles in the head because that is where your liver processes them?

That's TCM physiology...


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