Editor's note: The first six letters to the editor were written in response to "AT in China: Part I & II," written by Brenda Duran, Senior Associate Editor, and published in the January & February 2013 issues.
Dear Brenda Duran:
I read the article on acupuncture based stroke treatments at the teaching hospital in China.
I am the victim of a thalamic stroke that has left me with partial paralysis on my left side as well as "Thalamic Pain Syndrome". It's a fairly desperate (and exceedingly painful) situation, yet here is but one example of the kinds of responses I am receiving from prominent neurologists (in this case, the head of a local university Neurology Dept):
"The condition is sufficiently rare as to be non-viable for a research neurologist to be able to sustain a thriving practice. Further, the National Institutes of Health currently have no research projects on record at this time. Should "medication therapy" (i.e. narcotics) cease to be effective, the only remaining option would be deep brain stimulation surgical intervention."
In other words, they have no treatment to help me, and there are not enough cases to warrant the investment of time and money into the research. But, they will gladly go poking around inside of my brain to see if they can come up with something if that's what it comes to...
Uh, No, Thank You.
I may be in a dire situation, but I do realize that if they don't have a plan with any reasonable potential of helping I would rather go when it's my time than to be someone's guinea pig and take the risk of hastening the process. An acupuncture-based solution may well be my only remaining treatment option with any reasonable chance of a successful outcome prior to considering a high-risk brain surgery procedure with a significantly lower probability of success. Your story turned a dead-end and hopelessness into a fighting chance.
When my wife read it her jaw hit the floor. She said, without hesitation, "If we have to go to China to get you some relief, then so be it" and told me to contact you immediately if not sooner." Please keep doing these kinds of stories. There are a ton of people out there that need help with so many different ailments, and what you are doing DOES make a difference.
If this only results in a bit of improvement, and stops the extreme pain days I will be eternally grateful.
Dear Brenda Duran:
I enjoyed reading your recent article regarding acupuncture in China in Acupuncture Today. I have recently returned to America, after having spent over 3 years in China, where I obtained my Master's degree in Medicine (Acupuncture and Tuina), from Zhejiang Chinese Medical University in Hangzhou. While there, I was a provincial government scholarship winner, and received some very special and unique types of training from some of the most well known doctors in China.
Subsequent to my graduation, I was elected a Council Member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, and was a featured guest speaker and USA representative at the World Conference in Jilin last year. I just returned TCM Conference sponsored by Shuguang Hospital Affiliated with Shanghai Chinese Medical University.
Thanks for sharing your great article.
Michael R. Berger
M.S. Medicine, Acupuncture and Tuina Zhejiang Chinese Medical University (China)
Chief Instructor, Ken Zen Ichi Kan
Classical Martial Arts
Hello Brenda Duran:
I was reading your article Acupuncture Today in China: Part I on Acupuncture.com. I very liked the content you chose, especially to show China from a very positive side. Often news are showing China in a very critic way. I found it enjoying to read the article cause I have very similar experiences. Good job!
My name is Tim Vukan, I am a german guy living in China since 8 years studying Chinese medicine in Hangzhou. I am working as a medical guide and arrange local treatments and courses for foreigners. If you are interested or would like get in contact with me, please refer to my website www.wushantcm.com. Thanks a lot and keep the good work up!
Regards from Hangzhou, China
Happy new year! Your article on your journeys to China was fascinating. Thank you!
Nicholas Sieben, LAc, MS
Just read your lead story online, Brenda, and wanted to say it's a superb piece of reporting and observation/documentation and I hope you try and get it published in other outlets if possible. I of course am curious to know why these patients didn't seek a hospital based – or independent L.Ac – in the USA first of all – OR did they want that comprehensive service such as they received in China, with instant blood tests etc? And other on-the-spot services? Thanks for sharing your observations and experiences - I can't wait for #2! Wishing you and yours the very best of joy for the season – be safe on the road.
Pam Ferguson, LAc
Hello and good morning Brenda:
First, I want to thank you for the current article in AT. Well done and awesome! Looking forward to the other parts.
With best wishe or a happy 2013,
Wendy A. Williams
January 18, 2013
In the January 2013 edition of Acupuncture Today, South Baylo University published an incorrect and misleading advertisement, claiming that South Baylo received a significantly higher passing rate on the California Licensing exam than Five Branches University (FBU), and Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM), when in fact the exam results indicate that South Baylo University scores were lower.
In the advertisement, South Baylo University presents a chart referencing the "California License Examination Result Statistics By School." The chart indicates that South Baylo students received the highest passing scores on the exam, when in fact the Examination Results Statistics reported by the California Acupuncture Board clearly shows that both Five Branches University and Pacific College of Oriental Medicine examination results were higher in both categories, 1st Time Takers and Overall results, as shown in the table below and viewed online at www.acupuncture.ca.gov/students/stats_aug2011.shtml
California Acupuncture Board Examination Results Statistics by School August 2011
1st Time Takers
Five Branches University (FBU)
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM)
South Baylo University
Thank you for the opportunity to rectify this incorrect advertising.
President & CEO
Jack Miller, LAc, MA
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine