May 4, 2004

We Get Letters & E-Mail

By Editorial Staff

The following letters to the editor have not appeared in the print version of Acupuncture Today, but are instead being published exclusively on for review and comment by the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession.

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Emphasizing TCM Terms and Phrases a Capital Idea

Dear Editor:

I'm fairly new to the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (three years). I look upon the capitalization of terms discussed in a previous editorial appropriate for the promotion and awareness of our profession. In the public's eye, we should carry a certain aura of distinction about our practice. I produce most of my literature that markets my services to the community, and I always emphasize those keywords. If the words and terms, or their use in certain contexts, are not part of the average American rhetoric, then by all means we should call attention to them.

Anthony Costes, CAc
Sand Springs, Oklahoma

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The Challenges of Practicing Herbology

Dear Editor:

One of the biggest challenges facing our practice of herbology in the United States is that our patients come to us with conflicting health issues, often of a chronic nature. We frequently have to supplement and clear at the same time, cool and warm, dry and moisten, and use upward and downward, inward and outward principles simultaneously. In the question of how to dry damp and supplement yin concurrently, I have found the following to be very useful when I do not choose to follow a pre-existing formula, or if I am trying to address an idea in a more complex situation.

Herbs that are useful for draining/parching damp or clearing phlegm, yet do not damage the yin, are xing ren, yi yi ren, chuan bei mu, fu ling, shan yao, and hau shi. Herbs that are nourishing/supplementing to the yin, yet do not in themselves exacerbate damp or phlegm, are (bai) sha shen, yu zhu, lu gen, nu zhen zi, han lian cao, tian hau fen, bai he, bie jie, and gui ban. Since in our culture so often the source of dampness rests either initially or is complated later by the Spleen (with our inappropriate diet and/or medication use), I personally am reluctant to use a Spleen-challenging herb such as e jiao when addressing middle jiao dampness, even though it has been cited in a middle jiao formula (bai tou weng jia gan cao e jiao tang). Some consider mai men dong and shi hu to be too greasy as well; others disagree.

I hope this helps the readers of Acupuncture Today in gaining better clinical results.


1. Steven Clavey. Fluid Physiology and Pathology in Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2nd edition.
2. Yifan Yang. Chinese Herbal Medicine, Comparisons and Characteristics.
3. Bensky/Gamble. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica.

Michele Salinas, LAc, Dipl. CH, BSN, RN
Greensboro, North Carolina

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Reviewing "The Bottom Line"

Dear Editor:

In today's society, we find ourselves in desperation seeking to fulfull our own wants and desires, mainly our pride and pocketbooks. Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten our purpose and our commitment to our fellow man. In the article Dr. Amaro wrote, "The Bottom Line," I don't feel he was trying to take away from TCM or any other form of acupuncture. I was quite appaled, though, by the comments that were made by both Dr. Bruno and the TCM student from New York.

Once upon a time on the planet Earth, we as people had the belief that under the guidance of God, it was our responsibility to help one another regardless of financial gains. When our brethren became ill, we didn't question our abilities to help one another, nor did we argue who had ore didactic hours and more clinical hours before treating. It certainly is a shame that individuals are willing to cast stones before they are willing to look through the window. My only question is this: Has Dr. Bruno or the TCM student from New York attended Dr. Amaro's classes, and thus are capable of giving an educated opinion rather than ... well, an uneducated and presumptuous guess?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if one day, we as a people can come together with the same intention to help others without the pompous and egotistical agenda involved. Wouldn't it be wonderful if each of us would remember that we have a duty to God, our patients and ourselves, and that although there may be unethical practices in this world, there are still good ones.

Richard Powell, OMD
Elmhurst, Illinois

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