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Acupuncture Today
October, 2004, Vol. 05, Issue 10
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By Editorial Staff

A Slight Correction

Dear Editor:

I wish to correct an error in the article about the AOM Alliance conference that ppears on page 10 of the August 2004 edition of Acupuncture Today.

The article states that the NCCAOM was one of the national organizations that held a regularly scheduled meeting at the Los Angeles conference, along with CCAOM, ACAOM, NAF and FAOMRA. This is in fact not true. The NCCAOM did not meet, and does not meet, in conjunction with any of the other national organizations, partly in compliance with our mandate to remain at arm's length from the profession.

Thank you in advance for correcting this error.

Debra A. Persinger, PhD
Interim CEO, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Editor's note : While we were unable to change the reference to NCCAOM in the print version of Acupuncture Today, we have corrected the version of article that appears on We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused the NCCAOM or its members.

Book Reviews and Ratings: An Explanation

Dear Editor:

As a student of traditional Chinese medicine, I am always on the lookout for a good book that may assist me in my personal and educational perspective. Such is the desire I have had concerning the book review in Acupuncture Today; however, I have been consistently disappointed in the reviews on two accounts.

First, all of the books receive no less than 9.5 stars. Are the books that may perhaps be of lower merit (and there are many in transliteration that fall in this category) not worth reviewing, or is it a financial consideration considering the option to purchase those books reviewed?

Second, many of the books reviewed are not new. For instance, in the August issue was a review of the Dao of Chinese Medicine (with a rating of 10, which is, I would say, immediately suspect, as this book has many a flaw, and constructs itself as the be-all-end-all of meridian theory texts). This book was published in 2002. What, then, makes it for current review?

Certainly it could be that the review is of any book that is considered worth reading (thus all of seeming high merit), and thus the publishing date would be notwithstanding. However, it would be a service to review those books recently available (perhaps Giovanni Maciocia's new book on diagnosis, for example), and not simply those the respective reviewers and Acupuncture Today find worth noting.

Tymothy Smith
Second-year student, Five Branches Institute

Don Petersen, Acupuncture Today's publisher, replies:

Dear Mr. Smith:

Thank you so much for your inquiry. The questions you have expressed are no doubt shared by others.

Regarding book reviews, the simple answer is that we have a policy of not publishing poor reviews. Rather than utilize the space for a reviewer to tell you about a book they wouldn't recommend, we prefer to publish information abut a book you should consider reading. (Our lowest published review thus far received an 8.5 rating.) There are far too many good texts out there, and we are only able to review a dozen or so each year. Our reviewers choose from the very best titles and provide information on the books, tapes, videos, CDs, charts, etc. that they believe will be of the greatest benefit to the profession.

Second, you are correct in that we review some important works that are not "hot off the press." The reason we do is because we would like to have a review available online at for important texts that are expected to impact the profession for a number of years. When an older work is chosen for review, it is because it has already had an impact on the profession and is expected to for some time to come.

Finally, you appear to be a very well-read individual. You will hopefully continue to read much and become even more well-read after you graduate. Perhaps in a few years, you might consider applying to become one of our reviewers. Until then, all the best in your studies and as you enter practice.

Don Petersen

P.S.: The text you alluded to, Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide, is currently under review. A review should be published in Acupuncture Today in the next few months.

Acupuncture Today welcomes your feedback. If you would like to respond to an article, please send your comments to:

Acupuncture Today
ATTN: Letters to the Editor
PO Box 4139
Huntington Beach, CA 92605-4139

You may also send your comments by fax (714-899-4273) or e-mail ( ).


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