New Blog Site

October 26th, 2012 No comments

I am currently migrating both my personal site and this blog into one consolidated site, .  Thanks!

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Research Headache

February 22nd, 2012 4 comments

Greetings all! I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so here we go – merry christmas, happy hanukah, happy new year, happy chinese new year happy valentine’s day yada yada been there done that.

What I wish to write about to day is a sharing of a personal experience with some research I’m involved with in the Philippine General Hospital, teaching hospital of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

Yes, skeptics, there IS research being done in reputable state universities.  Then again the skeptics have already ignored the research done at the University of Vermont and the University of  Munich (click the links!) so why won’t they ignore this one?

Anyway, the research is supposed to be a cross-sectional study comparing the preventive effects of acupuncture versus propranolol in the treatment of migraine.  What I would like to comment on is the initial procedure that the residents wanted to do.

Initially, the idea of the other researchers was to pick a set of points and use that same set of points on EVERY PATIENT.  Following the principles of traditional chinese medicine, I said that that shouldn’t be the case.  I understand that their objective was to standardize the treatment.  I pointed out that chinese medicine emphasizes the root cause of the headache/migraine and address those causes.  The points to be used depend on those factors, as well as the location and nature of the pain.

wei shengchu 60 displays acupuncture needles in hi 2172839354 300x200 Research Headache

This is NOT how to treat headache using acupuncture.

In the end, what the protocol we submitted (which was subsequently approved by the appropriate committees) was that we would come up with a POOL of points to choose from.  Other factors would be there would only be ONE acupuncturist to diagnose, select from the pool and insert/manipulate the needles.  That will try to eliminate skill variation in practitioners.

When that study gets published, you guys will be the first to know about it!


P.S. – Gotta love this study

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Accidentally Misquoted – And Clarifications from Dr. Eddie Concepcion

September 16th, 2011 No comments

Dr. Eddie Concepcion is one of the best acupuncturists in the Philippines.  I know, because for the past five years or so, I have had a chance to witness him in action firsthand as one of his colleagues at Oasis Acupuncture Clinic.  He’s a mild mannered yet stunningly engaging clinician who shuns the spotlight.  Sometimes I compare im to the Lakeside Recluse Li Shizhen; the difference being that Doc Eddie’s “lake” is his hobby of photography.

Somewhat like J.D. Salinger, Doc Eddie doesn’t usually give interviews to the media.  Again, I should know, because he usually would send me to do it for him.  Lately, however, he had consented to being interviewed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (link).   We should be happy, right?

Apparently not.

I remember talking to Doc Eddie the other day and he starts off by saying “I was misquoted!”  I then got a chance to look at the article and I found myself saying to myself, “uh oh, I can see why Doc Eddie is peeved…”  I could instantly see that there were phrases and sentences that I know no educated acupuncturist would use or at the very least, were obviously taken out of context.

Here is a link to the article:  I leave it to the reader to browse through it.

Understanding that most probably there were misunderstandings (boy, that’s redundant), Doc Eddie wrote a letter to the editor of the Inquirer, with the intention of clarifying statements that might unintentionally give readers the wrong ideas. With Doc Eddie’s permission I am posting the contents of that letter here:

Dear editor,
     Thank you for featuring me on your lifestyle issue (September 13, 2011: Healing through flowing).  Many of my patients and colleagues enjoyed the well-written article on Traditional Chinese Medicine and its great lay-out.  And, I enjoyed it, too.  However, I have to clarify a point which I think is very important.  On the fourth paragraph from last,  it stated that TCM is not a cure.   Perhaps, I may not have uttered it clearly but I think I said that it is not a cure-all. Because once harmony and balance is restored, we say that the patient is cured. It is not palliative since patients note the permanent effects TCM provides for conditions like migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, stroke and insomnia.  Yes, it has limits.
 But in many instances, it greatly complements Western Medicine in complicated conditions like cancer,  auto-immune disorders and a number of psychiatric disorders. Worldwide, premier hospitals offer acupuncture in physical rehabilitation for stroke and trauma, for the control of side effects in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and even as an adjunct in the treatment of nicotine, drug addiction and alcoholism.
I do hope I am able to help in your advocacy in promoting wellness. And, let me thank you again for the opportunity to explain a field of medicine that has helped me serve our countrymen.
  More power to you and your team.
Truly yours,
Edilberto M. Concepcion, MD
Thanks to Doc Eddie for giving me a topic to blog about again hahahaha.
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Testing wordpress app

April 22nd, 2011 No comments

Hi all, not much in terms of tcm blogging. Not that there hasn’t been much to comment on; more of too busy to set my thoughts on virtual paper. In the meantime I’m trying wordpress for iOS. This should make blogging easier hehe.

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Dear President Aquino

February 16th, 2011 3 comments

I would like to point out a slight error in your statements as quoted here:

“(A Chinese ambassador told me that) they are very, very strict when it comes to drug laws because it’s a major concern of theirs. Iyung sa shabu, iyung ephedrine is a natural, comes from a plant that grows primarily in China. Mas malaki ang problema nila doon, they have a bigger populace, and they have syempre the history of opium from before,”

Why the heck is ephedrine mentioned in the same breath as methamphetamines and opium?  Again this is due to Ephedra’s bad rep as it is banned in the United States.  I shan’t repeat myself, but I would like to refer our President to my articles about Ephedra:

“News Bias Continues: Ephedra’s True Story”

.581px Ephedra andina 1 290x300 Dear President Aquino

A quote:

Herba Ephedrae or Ma Huang is usually the first herb one would see in a typical textbook of Chinese herbal medicine.  It is usually used to clear early symptoms of flu, and not ALL kinds of flu.  ANY look at the texts will give SPECIFIC indications for it’s use.  However, western herb enthusiasts had, according to the article, “converted from an herbal treatment for diseases to an energy stimulant and a weight-loss product.”

What are it’s classic textbook uses?

Actions: induces diaphoresis, resolves surface, ventilates the lungs to relieve asthma, regulates water metabolism.

Applications: febrile diseases due to exterior-excess, fever, chillphobia [aversion to cold], anhidrosis [lack of perspiration], ostealgia [bone pain], arthralgia, cough with dyspnea, edema, edema due to wind.

From this, it becomes obvious that Herba ephedrae is meant to be used in actual illness, not in a healthy person just trying to get a kick or lose weight.  The weight loss aspect is gleaned from it’s strong diaphoretic effect.  However, a basic look at any  Chinese herbal textbook will show that administration of ma huang should stop WHEN PERSPIRATION BEGINS, whether or not the flu has dispersed.

Again, if the patient has external symptoms (chills, slight fever, arthralgia, muscle pain) with no sweating, ma huang may be given AS PART OF A FORMULA to mediate effects (see ma huang tang, among others) and should be STOPPED when sweating begins.

Also, it should not be used as a tonic.  Many of the early ma huang/ephedra “supplements” were mixtures of ephedra and other tonics (including caffeine!)  Disaster waiting to happen.

How does that compare with western enthusiasts taking the herb individually for what we MDs would term as “off label use” contrary to all warnings?

OF COURSE they’ll get sick.  A professor of mine in China warned against yin collapse (shock due to blood or fluid loss) after using too much sweat-inducing herbs.

“The Art of Chinese Medicine”

My point, Mr. President, is that Ma Huang or ephedra, the source of ephedrine, is a very valuable medicinal material in China and is banned in the US only because SOME IDIOTS misused it for off-label purposes.  It does not deserve to be compared to real dangerous drugs

pixel Dear President Aquino
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