I read your editorial regarding the need for research ("And A Researcher Shall Lead Them," March 2002), all of which I agree with.
However, you stated something that I have not seen (or expect to see) within the acupuncture community. That is the dedicated organization needed to provide an effective lobbying group on a national level. The chiropractors received their VA acceptance, but not just because they "got it." Many of the chiropractors have the sense to provide funding of some sort in a political action committee. This allows the chiropractors to have someone in their corner to push for the legislation that they want.
Many of the people who practice TCM in America are very independent and do not have the sense to organize to a level that would allow a formidable force in Washington, D.C. In the world of Western politics, funds are needed to have a lobbyist do whatever is needed toward is needed toward the people who make the laws in the name of all acupuncturists. However, I see that many people get bogged down in details without seeing the bigger picture. TCM practitioners wring hands over whether or not the feds will outlaw ephedra, but fail to see the effects of what a powerful lobby would do in order to crush the notion outright. It's frustrating for me to see 15,000 practitioners in the U.S. and not have a lobby fighting for us with the funds of $4.5 million a year in support to get us what we need. Incidentally, that would mean only $300 a practitioner per year. Instead, many will complain with me, many will complain about me, and even more will never even see this letter.
John Hinz, MSOM, LAc Brookfield, Wisconsin
Acupuncture Works on Animals, Too
I enjoyed reading your article on veterinary acupuncture in the February issue. As an acupuncturist who has been treating animals for 17 years, I would like to comment that acupuncture is effective not only for the physical ailments that are described in your article, but also to help correct behavioral problems; to lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation; and to alleviate the emotional trauma associated with abuse. The animals that I treat actually seem to enjoy their treatments.
Cyrie Barnes, LAc Columbia, Maryland
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