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Letter: Benefits of acupuncture have been well-documented

Benefits of acupuncture have been well-documented

The letter referring to Roswell Park’s use of acupuncture as bad news and catering to patients’ “magical thinking” displays a shocking lack of knowledge regarding recent research into the effects of acupuncture on the brain.

I refer to the works of researchers V. Napadow, Ph.D. at Harvard, who uses functional MRI to see the effects of acupuncture on various structures in the brain, and Helene Longevin, M.D., also at Harvard, who uses microscopy to study the effects of acupuncture on the local tissues.

Their work complements the work of non-acupuncture researchers on the subject of pain, such as Neuro Orthopedic Institute and others, who are studying the fascia and connective tissue as conduits of neurologic input to the brain.

The writer’s failure to acknowledge this type of research reveals a state of mind that is stuck on placebo-controlled, double-blinded studies as the only form of “proof” that a treatment or drug is effective.

Western medicine does not have the answer to many afflictions that affect our society. To “throw out the baby with the bathwater” does a tremendous disservice to our patients who are looking for relief.

Lisa Benson, M.D.

Fellow of the American Academy

of Medical Acupuncture

Buffalo

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