Chiropractic, acupuncture, and herbal therapy are without question the most popular and most often referred to by the media, "complementary" procedures. The chiropractic profession has never had a more positive time to "seize the opportunity" in the new-found interest in natural healing.
Besides chiropractic, it behooves all DCs to become not only aware, but proficient in acupuncture. Acupuncture is a principle not a technique, therefore even the noninvasive "meridian therapy" approach is available for virtually every DC. The number of patients seeking competent practitioners in acupuncture is truly overwhelming. I have never seen more new patients than right now!
The acupuncture profession is aggressive and effective at the legislative level. More states than not have laws specific to acupuncturists for their legal practice. There is more and more talk about acupuncturists becoming "doctored." Since there are more three-year acupuncture colleges in just three states than there are chiropractic colleges in the world, I feel that is reason for concern, especially considering that manipulation is a vital part of acupuncture practice. I repeat an earlier comment: It behooves all DCs to become not only aware, but proficient in acupuncture. It would be a sin to be "replaced" at this stage of our existence. Knowledge of acupuncture is not only timely but absolutely necessary.
One of the most important areas of complementary medicine is "herbal therapy." Herbs are extremely effective and easy to use. One need not be an herbalist to use scores of herbs for countless conditions, either as individual or formulated herbs. Herbal therapy as practiced internationally is simply a "this for that" type of approach. In other words, you use "this" herb for "that" condition. As long as a practitioner knows what condition he is treating, it is as simple as referring to a Materia Medica, which is nothing more than a reference list of specific, historic formulae used for a specific health problem. Everyone knows what aloe vera is used for, even if they know nothing about herbology. If Madison Avenue advertising executives promoted the Queen of the Meadow plant or Burdock root as they did aloe vera, the health of millions may have been quite different. Throughout history, there have been a multitude of herbalists who have established scores of herbal formulae for hundreds of conditions. I personally see no reason to "re-invent the wheel"! Take advantage of those laboratories which produce marvelous Western herbal formulae which are so easy to use. The only thing which may be more powerful are Chinese herbal formulae.
I refer you to two articles I wrote in Dynamic Chiropractic: "Contemporary or Traditional Chinese Medicine," (Nov. 20, 1995); and "Beyond Ginseng, the New Popularity Explosion of Chinese Herbs," (Jan. 1, 1996). If you failed to read these articles, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope and we will see you receive them.
One of the most significant healing approaches now available to us, which has received accolades of praise and respect from the media and the medical profession, is the area of Chinese herbology. Until now to use Chinese medicine required an extensive background in a variety of Asian healing arts other than herbology. The response to Chinese herbs for many conditions may be unparalleled. Working on the same basic principle of energetics as acupuncture and many will say as chiropractic, Chinese herbs as well as their Western counterpart, may very well be the usual "medicine" of the future.
In the January 1, 1996 article, I stated: "It is my recommendation, that Western doctors unless extremely well versed in ancient and traditional Chinese medicine, utilize some of the incredibly effective formulae available to the Western practitioner without having to become immersed in the myriad of details and complications which is required of the herbalists." The best part is that now, a select few of the world's most respected Chinese medicine laboratories, are producing patent Chinese herbs for the Western practitioner which are available in this country.
Besides being ridiculously easy to use, they are affordable and readily available. One only needs a simple reference sheet of "what formulae" is used for "which condition." Utilizing this approach to Chinese medicine is not only incredibly effective, a practitioner in most cases can achieve the same clinical response as the "master herbalists." Remember, these are the same herbs and combinations they use.
In my 25 years of clinical practice, I can truly say I have never experienced healing results of the magnitude I am currently experiencing by using patent Chinese herbs.
There are a variety of laboratories offering these herbs, however, I definitely have my favorites. Which ones? Send me a request with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, I'll give you my list.
So now that we have this incredible interest in holistic healing for the first time in history with every magazine, newspaper, and television show bombarding us with this awareness of chiropractic, acupuncture, and Chinese and Western herbs, "What are you going to do about it?" The future of healing is in our hands.
John Amaro, DC, FIACA, Dipl.Ac.(NCCA)
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