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Acupuncture: what the doctors think


Too often alternative (or complementary) medicines are opposed to conventional medicine; it is often assumed that doctors are generally against it. Not so; many doctors either practice some form of complementary medicine alongside their conventional practice, or recommend it to some of their patients.
Here are a few quotes from sometimes well known doctors or professors; most of these are from the British Medical Journal.
"In the current scientific context it is well established that a situation of initiative is health enhancing, while in adverse situations it is pathogenic to be in a state of submission when typically fighting or fleeing are impossible. Resorting to alternative medicine is to put oneself in a state of initiative. It is usually associated with the belief that the chosen modality of alternative medicine is valuable (belief that may be shared by the practitioner). It is therefore easy to explain how the combination of state of initiative and placebo effect can have positive effects undetectable via randomised controlled trials". 
Dr Michel Oden

"Why do people seek alternative treatment? We have to acknowledge that modern medicine has failed to heal many diseases. Healing means cure and not just alleviation of symptoms. Cure means getting rid of an ailment or ailments leaving an intact body. Intact body means intact anatomy and function. Not all treatments are healers but all curatives are healers. We have to admit that modern treatments are not curatives in all cases.
The demand that a new and fresh approach to health and healing, unbound to Western Orthodox Medicine's specific approach to disease and treatment, be removed from scientific classification and research ignores the fact that there are areas of massive failure in Medicine (prevention, obesity, depression come to mind), and that three quarters of the Australian population turns to use these modalities even when they are costly and Medicine is massively subsidised.
We owe it to ourselves and our patients to understand why this happens, and what Complementary Medicine has to offer that we doctors are not providing. Our own Medicine has little more than a veneer of evidence-based respectability. We would do well to remember that we are all on a common path of science, and the goal of health care is not to be evidence-based, but to help those who seek our care using the broadest and best information available to us". 
Mark Donohoe medical practitioner
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