duh Qi…de qi!

The Integrator Blog notices Disintegrative Medicine is on the rise, Mark Seem lets the entry-level cat out of the bag…too bad it’s road kill, AAAOM provides a forum for conversation that it can’t totally control and PCOM finally figures out how to separate the branch from the root…with Community-Style Acupuncture!

de Qi!…-  The Integrator Blog gets some strong de Qi for it’s analysis of a recent American Hospital Association/Health Forum survey titled Summary of Results of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Survey of Hospitals, which studied the use of CAM in hospitals.  The press release for the survey cheerily reported that 37% of hospitals offered some form of CAM in 2007, up from 26% in 2005.  Awesome!  Looks like that doctorate thingy might be a good idea, right?  Well, not so fast there, CCAOM.  For one, the 2007 survey had a dismal response rate of 12%, down from 21% in 2005.   As John Weeks, the man at the Integrator calls it, “The lower response rate in 2007 (12%) as compared to 2005 (21%) creates the awkward reality that the marquis finding of an increased percentage of hospitals with some CAM (37.4% versus 26.5%) is based on responses from significantly fewer hospitals (748 in 2007 versus 1394 in 2005)…The apparently robust increase in the percentage of hospitals with some CAM (37.4% in 2007 versus 26.5% in 2005) may not be real.” True enough, one would think that the hospitals with CAM would actually bother to respond to the survey.  Second, while the report finds that acupuncture, as well as the other top three out-patient modalities are actually in decline, with a slight increase in acupuncture in the in-patient setting being observed, only 11% of participating hospitals that do not offer CAM are planning to begin to offer any CAM by an average of 18 months from the late 2007 date of the survey. CAM is only in the strategic plan of 50% of those hospitals actually offering it and 70% of the CAM programs don’t have a strategic plan themselves.  Someone needle Liver 3 quick!  We’ve got a vision problem!

Some more key findings:  55% of hospitals discontinued CAM for poor financial performance, 40% for re-prioritized hospital initiatives and 35% for lack of community interest.  56% of hospitals offering CAM don’t expect the program to break even.  Um, that’s a problem.  In the age of evidence-based medicine, where is the evidence that acupuncture is actually wanted in hospitals or other western-based integrative care facilities?  Or that it is cost effective?  It sure aint here.  I haven’t seen one single shred of evidence that acupuncture is actually in demand at western medical settings outside of the cluck-clucking of school owners and representatives of credentialing agencies.  Yet, we are told that we must continue to increase and modify competencies to satisfy the needs of an industry that doesn’t want or need AOM, not on any appreciable scale that is.  Would anyone like to dispute this survey?  I know, I know.  Change is a comin’ and I’m caught in the past rather than looking to the future.  

duh Qi
…- Mark Seem…the pulse is slippery with this one.  His article in Acupuncture Yesterday gets some big drooling duh Qi here.  First question, Mark:  Have you already integrated the core competencies you mention in your advertisement, um, I mean article, as well as critical thinking skills and information literacy into the curriculum at your school, the Tri-State College of Acupuncture?  Yes?  If so, and it can be done in a masters level education, why is a first professional doctorate needed? Is it “…to enable graduates to also practice in other health care systems like hospital-based practices and integrative multidisciplinary settings.”?  Please refer to the above survey before you sling that crap my way.  As for “Biomedical Competencies: The Big Difference” I offer the same critique. CAM is trending way down, not up.  Pet therapy beats acupuncture 46% to 18% as an in-patient modality in hospitals.  That cat is certainly out of the bag too, dude.  And it’s got rabies.  Maybe we ought to put it down.  Actually, considering that information, you’d probably have an easier time convincing me that we should legislate to make cats a medical device and lobby for a first professional doctorate in Cat Petting.  We could make it more professional sounding.  How about Service Cat Rubbing Energy Worker?  I’d definitely go to school at SCREW U.   I just can’t shake the feeling that the FPD is an attempt to screw me.  Acupuncture jobs are not on the horizon in hospital-based practices and integrative multidisciplinary settings and I ask, no, I beg you sir, pleeease show me any evidence to the contrary.  Not something related to a school like an externship either.  And stop with the crap about competencies from the Institute of Medicine. That goes for all of you school types.  Give us real evidence that would justify “a little prod from AOM practitioners to offer sufficient evidence of consensus to ACAOM for renewal of its review and finalization of standards for a first-professional doctorate in acupuncture and in Oriental medicine.”  Until then it’s all duh Qi.

de Qi!…-  AAAOM-  Huh?!?!  de Qi for the fake face of the profession, knee biters of the establishment, the tail that wags the dog, the hand in the shell game?  Well, they get some de Qi with their forum, specifically the doctorate dialogue.  Yeah, I am obsessed with the doctorate.  

That forum was a freakin’ morgue until CAN showed up to play and it still is outside of that particular discussion area.  Hmm, why is that?  It’s because the acupuncture professional “community”, well…it just doesn’t exist. It’s not a community in any real sense.  It’s more a lonely conglomeration of isolated individuals. That’s why CEU classes feel like group.  “Hi.  My name is the Zang Fool and I am a lonely acupuncturist.”  “Hi, the Zang Fool!”  It’s like Mad Max out there.  The first one that is, not the one with Tina Turner.  Hell, I bet most practitioners would kill for the sense of community they had in Bartertown.  Considering that most acupuncturists have to trade with each other for treatment, I guess it is kind of like Bartertown too.  But it is still fun to watch the conversation.  I just love big words and statistics, especially when the statistics are from another profession.  Of course, this dialogue is a necessary evil for the acupuncture-industrial complex “consensus” process.  Be sure to weigh in on their survey on the first professional doctorate.  

duh Qi…- PCOM!!  A recent PCOM press release cited in the December issue of the shartfest known as Acupuncture Today contained a blurb about PCOM San Diego redesigning its community clinic “to reflect the original community-style acupuncture model.”  For all you hobo’s that may “not have the time or the finances to afford a more “private,” in-depth treatment” PCOM gots the solution for you!  For $15 a treatment “each visit will focus solely on one symptom of the patient.”  In other words, one visit = one symptom.  Well…that just about flies in the face of everything I learned from those crazy books that end with the word “Ching”.  Note to PCOM students: there is no root treatment anymore.  You may only trim the hedges.  No, rather you may only trim one branch of the hedge between the hours of 1:30 and 4:15pm every Friday.  And you can’t treat the root through the branch either, got it?  

So, what happens if a student treats someone for a runny nose due to allergies and inexplicably their eyes stop watering as well?  I can see it now, a shaky handed, sweaty browed third year pleading, “Please LI4, PLEASE!  Don’t affect the eyes, just the nose, JUST THE NOSE!”  If she fails and is too effective, then the PCOM brass will swoop in and demand more money.  “Fork it over, cheapo.  $15 got you the nose, not the eyes.  What do you think this is, private room or something?  Get the hell out of here!”  What does that teach the public about the utility of acupuncture?  “Oh, I went to the original community-style clinic and they said that they can’t treat my back pain and my headaches at the same time.  I guess they aren’t connected.  Gee, and here I thought they always were.  What the hell do I know?  I guess acupuncture is really limited.  I’ll be sure to tell my friends and family that.  They did say that private room treatments were more in depth, though.  Too bad we can’t afford it.  However, I am grateful for the philanthropy of PCOM to address one symptom at a time.”  What do you say to a patient that checks off a bunch of symptoms on their intake form?  “Sorry, buddy.  At one treatment per symptom and acupuncture taking a series of treatments to see results, this community thing is gonna cost you big, even more than private room in the long run.  A private room treatment plan can get through this process much more quickly and affordably.”  But that must be the knock on CA at PCOM.   It is less “comprehensive”, less effective, less “deep”, less medical, less spa, less, less, less.  Well, if by comprehensive they mean bullshit then I guess they nailed it.  It’s a whole lot less of that.  The best part though has to be how they aim to “reflect the original community-style acupuncture.”  Reflect, huh?  Maybe it would be the reflection in a toilet if there was a big smelly dump in the water.  I guess PCOM is the new original.  WCA, do you treat one symptom at a time at a flat rate of $15?  China, do you?  Who treats one symptom of a major condition at a time in a CA practice? The Fool don’t.  Do you?  Any CA open once a week for less than three hours?  And there’s not a single mention of a group setting at all.  They’re real fired up over there at PCOM San Diego about community-style acupuncture, minus the community of course.  That’s the embarrassing part.

duh Qi.

The Zang Fool
Author: The Zang Fool

<p> This is a satirical blog post by a practitioner that is serious in his attempts to both increase acupunctures accessibility to the public and challenge practitioners preconceived notions of what acupuncture is and how it functions in society. It may make you laugh, but that is just a means to an end. That end is thought and ultimately positive change. This is what all good satire does: prick, prod and provoke thought and positive change within a community. </p> <p> Satire has long been a part of muckraking and this profession is teeming with muck.  So, in the wake of the nonsense spewed from the foul anus of the Acupuncture-Industrial Complex come my musings on life, love and the proposed doctoral program. </p>

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  1. Holy Lord…

    After reading this post I feel like I’ve just shared lunch with Sam Kinison and Molly Ivins at the same table.

    Is that PCOM info true?  One treatment = 1 symptom?

    Say it ain’t so, Fool.

    (Oy vey, I just checked the link.

    It IS true.  I’m speechless…)

  2. The PCOM idea of CA would

    The PCOM idea of CA would have been funny as a joke, but as reality it’s sad and perplexing.  It sounds like they want it to fail so they can prove community acupuncture is second rate.  

    Hospitals in SE Michigan, and I imagine many other places are very interested in acupuncture.  Many have tried or would like to try and offer “integrative medicine centers” but they need a financially viable program.  Oakwood hospital in Dearborn MI had one of these centers, but not enough patients could afford the treatments so it closed down.  No one cared about the acupuncturist being called doctor, that has never been the problem.  I believe community acupuncture would thrive in hospitals, patients would get better, and as long as the hospital makes money no one will give a @#$* what title the acupuncturist goes by.  When is the acupuncture establishment going to realize our slow growth is due to the high cost of treatment?

  3. <<Oakwood hospital in


    I worked at one of these at IL Masonic in Chicago; it was grant-funded (American Cancer Society and Ryan White Foundation), and IIRC patients had a co-pay, $10 or something.  The clinic went under when the funding dried up, though.  I’m not sure if they’re still doing anything — i’ve been away from Chicago for a while.  At the time it was a couple activist MDs who were keeping it going and the hospital admin seemed to be largely uninterested.

  4. the PCOM thing

    for shame… it’s one thing for an individual practitoner to “adapt” CA is this twisted and misunderstood way, but that an acu school is doing this is ridiculous. couldn’t they have consulted one of us for help on how to really do this? perhaps, linda is right and this is some kind of a passive-agressive move.

    at AIMC in Berkeley where i have been supervising a 4 hour weekly CA shift for 2 trimesters now, we have at least worked out some kinks, despite the fact that there is only one CA shift per week there. on our last day of the last trimester my students treated 21 patients in 3 hours, which i think is awesome for students. we certainly do not promote it as a “lesser” alternative. they charge only $10 per session and there is and option for a (very popular) $5 ear clinic on a different day of the week, so a patient could get two treatments per week for $15. i think eventually they will add more CA-style clinic shifts at that school, but i doubt i will have the time to supervise more than one. hopefully, the more CA is practiced, the more practitioners will be able to do supervision on such a shift, so that more students can get some practice in doing it before they actually graduate. -tatyana

  5. I have found the MDs in

    I have found the MDs in metro Detroit to be very supportive of acupuncture.  There are acus on staff at Henry Ford hospital, it’s working, but the patients struggle to afford the treatments  I get a lot of MD referrals and they would like to arrange it so I could treat some of my patients with cancer who have to go to the hospital, but MI is still trying to figure out the licensing of acus so it’s much more complicated.  The administrators job is to assure the bottom line, but the MDs in Detroit and Ann Arbor are usually for it.  I think part of the acceptance comes from me not being called doctor.  I think chiropractors are often viewed with more skepticism because they have a doctor title.  That’s not something I want to deal with.      

  6. Integrative acu-practioner on TV isn’t even effective

    The one acupuncture character that is on TV (well I do not watch much TV so he may not be the only acu character) works in an integrative practice and he doesn’t seem to do much but sleep around.

    I am dyeing to know if the fertility doctor is going to send him some referals or if the psychologist he just left his girlfriend for is going to have him treat her shen disturbed patients.

    Maybe I will ask the NCCAOM to intervene. “Hey guys, you don’t seem like you are doing much for the profession, can you at least lobby ABC to make the actors who play us on TV come across as effective. Thanks”


  7. Maybe if they actually had

    Maybe if they actually had someone that knew something about Chinese Medicine writing the show, things might turn around.

    I’m at PCOM in Chicago right now, and I find this CA description totally disheartening. They are just all about the money.