Dr. Debra Bell, Crookston, letter: Scientific evidence strongly supports acupunctureThe National Institute of Health has a division of Complementary and Alternative Medicine whose mission is to “define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.” The greatest number of these scientific studies are regarding acupuncture.
By: Dr. Debra Bell ,
CROOKSTON — I was pleased to see the Herald’s stories on acupuncture in the “Accent on Health” section (“An overview of alternative treatments,” Page C2, Nov. 19).
There are a few comments I feel are pertinent.
The story says therapies such as acupuncture are alternative medicine, which “generally refers to treatments that have not been proven effective using scientific method.” In fact, the National Institute of Health has a division of Complementary and Alternative Medicine whose mission is to “define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.”
The greatest number of these scientific studies are regarding acupuncture. In May, I attended the annual meeting of the International Congress For Complementary Medicine Research in Portland, Ore., for which there were more than 600 scientific abstracts presented.
As scientific validation is the gold-standard for assessing treatment in our medical system, we feel that it’s important for the Herald to clarify the comments that the story made about the scientific evidence for acupuncture and complementary medicine.
RIverView Hospital right here in Crookston is following the progressive footsteps of big centers such as the Mayo Clinic and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and offers inpatient acupuncture for the treatment of post-operative nausea, vomiting and pain.
Classes in Tai Chi — a Chinese medicine movement practice which has been shown to help with balance in the elderly and people suffering from neurologic conditions — are also offered for free as a community service. Outpatient acupuncture services also are available at RiverView Family Practice and Integrative Medicine Center in Crookston by licensed acupuncturist Megan Scott.
Licensed acupuncturists have completed a three-year program in acupuncture and oriental medicine and must meet standards regulated by state medical boards.
Because of the scientific evidence supporting acupuncture, many acupuncture services — particularly those for chronic pain — are covered by insurances in Minnesota and other states.
Scott has also been certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association in “acudetox,” a standardized auricular (ear) acupuncture protocol for problems such as addictions, anxiety and stress and offers group treatment at Glenmore Recovery Center in Crookston.
Dr. Bell is board certified in family medicine and is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. She practices at RiverView Family Practice and Integrative Medicine Center.