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One of our team has posted an article asking for help and advice for a friend of her son’s who has been attacked and undergone a severe beating and trauma. Please do share your ideas (either on the article itself or here in the comments) – and remember that while we know this one person who is in trouble, there are many others in similar situations who will also benefit from your ideas and suggestions. I love this different points of view, and hope the conversation continues – I very much appreciate the various lenses people bring to the conversation!
One of the biggest challenges with talking about holistic treatments is precisely the holistic (or all encompassing) nature of those communications. We appreciate all the emails we get from practitioners and consumers of holistic health, but when one comes in with the subject line ‘Site maybe promoting fraud’, that does get our attention.  That’s only happened once (and we’re grateful) but it did lead us on a fascinating investigation into what it means to be a naturopath. I tend to be a ‘just the facts’ type of person (probably why I find it interesting to find out what is what when it comes to holistic modalities), so I am rarely as stumped as I was while trying to research the question of Naturopathic training. Even the language is unclear.  Are we talking about Naturopathic certification?  Licensing?  Accreditation?  Each word has a very specific meaning and they are not the same.
At the same time, those who have gone through four or more years of rigorous training in other states to earn the right to use the name ‘Naturopath’ or ‘Naturopathic Doctor’ understandably think that these folks should not call themselves Naturopaths, as they feel that for people without their training to use the same name devalues the time and effort they have put in and the extent of their knowledge. However, then on the ANMA’s website (the group that is said to be ‘for those with diplomas by correspondence’), there are a couple of articles about how the CNME’s right to accredit naturopathic schools had been revoked by the Secretary of Education in 2001.
I go to the website for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (having found a few references to that as the place to find ‘licensed’ naturopaths).  They say that “16 states plus the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors.
Program accreditation must be issued by the CNME (the folks who were at one point no longer allowed to accredit naturopathic schools, but since then have been re-accepted for this role). Other than the US department of Education, all the names sound like they could well be governing bodies for this industry, and for me as an outsider, it’s hard to tell them apart.
Presumably, if the school has been accredited by the CNME, then you can assume that the department of Education (if appropriate) has also accredited the college as necessary. If the person wants to practice in one of the states or territories or provinces requiring licensing, after the completion of their program at one of the accredited schools, they must also sit an exam administered by NABNE.  This exam is called the NPLEX (or Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination). There is significant controversy in the Naturopathic field, with one group holding that the professional education and licensing are an important component to protecting the value of the degree and of the name of ‘Naturopath’, while the other group says that naturopathy should not enter anywhere near the medical realm and that this type of licensing and regulation is not desirable.
The unfortunate part for those of us looking to consult Naturopaths as consumers is that the internal arguments can undermine our confidence in the field.  I would recommend that you determine the importance of licensing in your world view, and then if you consult a Naturopath, you will hopefully at least be able to ask them the right questions to determine if you are satisfied with their credentials, training and qualifications. In other countries (Australia, the UK, Germany, etc), the confusion is much less as the requirements seem to be much clearer: a degree in Naturopathic Medicine takes four years of education and the training is similar to that of a GP, although the graduates are not considered to be physicians.
I took this picture recently in Oregon after a mad car dash hoping to get to the beach before the sun set. Writing this guide is a gift we are offering, but there are a few principles that will help you get the best use out of it. Taking one step is better than none, and you can start now with one item, and add others later – you don’t need to understand it all to get going.
It can be intimidating and hard to put a stake in the ground and say ‘This is what I do extremely well’, but if you don’t believe it, why would others?  If this is a challenge for you, remember that the goal is to share what you know and have received.
One step at a time is the only way to get anywhere.  And you don’t have to see the whole picture to take that one step. Given that, we had a choice of trying to limit our language and our suggestions so as not to offend anyone, or trying to give you the best advice we can without fear and without expecting that it will all resonate with every one of you. Not only for practitioners, but in many ways particularly for practitioners, it can be hard to speak up and claim what you know and what you have to offer. However, if you can’t say what you do extremely well, it’s very hard for potential customers to understand it.  There are some techniques for getting around this challenge (there will be upcoming posts on building credibility and on what makes you different), but in order to take those particular steps, we have found it is often important to look at the whole question from a different viewpoint. The problem with all of these is that probably at least 5% of the world’s population could honestly make that same claim.
These are all common challenges and we propose steps to help you solve them throughout these posts.  But the general principle that guides the steps we suggest for each of these is that asking for help can have amazing results.  How?
Not only did we gain some descriptions that would never in a million years have occurred to us, but we got offers of referrals, video testimonials and offers to serve as direct contacts with others.  We were absolutely blown away by the generosity and feedback of our community, as well as getting better insight into what we do differently from anyone else, and felt deeply honoured by the generosity of those who have and do work with us. From the other side of the window, we have had some fascinating conversations with practitioners who aren’t sure how to explain their modality – it’s complicated or a little abstract or they’re not sure how to describe it in detail.
So as you read the rest of these posts, keep in mind that asking for help can help you overcome many apparent obstacles and the results may surprise and delight you. A study published in September 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine called Acupuncture for Chronic Pain aimed to lay to rest some of the controversy around acupuncture efficacy for chronic pain.
The goal of the study was to determine the effect of acupuncture for four chronic pain conditions; back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headaches and shoulder pain. The researchers conclude that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option.
As a large study that included only randomized controlled trials, this study will hopefully put to rest the question about whether or not acupuncture is effective – and maybe help some more people find relief from pain for their chronic conditions. Not only that, but as of 2014, residents of California and Maryland will be able to get health insurance policies that include acupuncture treatments as a treatment for pain management.
Some of these terms are more or less precise, but the sheer number of them makes it harder for people to find the solutions they may be looking for. This website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional.
Acupuncture is a traditional form of oriental medicine which originated in China and is being practiced by therapists all over the world now.


Laser acupuncture is a treatment in which low-energy laser beams are used to produce current at acupuncture points. Counseling is a process that facilitates better personal and interpersonal understanding & functioning. Vitaly Napadow is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Robert Davis received an MS in acupuncture and oriental medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College, Santa Fe in 1999. Richard Harris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. Hugh MacPherson trained in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the early 1980’s and continues to practice these modalities in York, UK. Ryan Milley is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Research in East Asian Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.
Peter has more than 35 years of training experience in Tai Chi and Qigong, and is an internationally recognized teacher of these practices.
New research concludes that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of spasticity and paralysis due to stroke. Investigators discovered that acupuncture effectively reduced spastic hemiplegia, paralysis on one side of the body with muscle and tendon spasms, in patients who suffered a stroke.
This research is consistent with other investigations demonstrating that acupuncture benefits patients have have had a stroke. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2012 (2012), Article ID 895032, 9 pages. Jung Ah Lee, Si-Woon Park, Pil Woo Hwang, Sung Min Lim, Sejeong Kook, Kyung In Choi, and Kyoung Sook Kang. To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) of "Taichong" (LR 3) on liver function in rats with mild alcoholic liver injury (MALI) so as to explore the feasibility of acupuncture in improving mild alcoholic liver injury. New research demonstrates that acupuncture is effective in relieving depression and increases the therapeutic effect of fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Fontex). Acupuncture for DepressionSubjects suffering from depression received 9 electroacupuncture treatments combined with the oral administration of the SSRI fluoxetine.
The acupuncture group received 9 electroacupuncture treatments at a rate of 3 per week concurrent with fluoxetine treatment. The researchers note that electroacupuncture produces a "rapid effect in alleviating depressive symptoms in both clinician-rated (HAMD-17) and self-rated (SDS) measures of depression.” The investigators conclude that the study demonstrates that electroacupuncture is effective in augmenting the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine for the treatment of moderate and severe major depressive disorder. 1 School of Chinese Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. 4 Department of Psychiatry, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Zhang ZJ, Chen HY, Yip KC, Ng R, Wong VT (2010) The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy in depressive disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Nike or a military general), which leads us directly into our third principle  (take what is useful to you, and leave the rest). As a result, the diagnostic process strives to determine which doshas are underactive or overactive in a body.
He is board certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and maintains a clinical practice in South Burlington, Vermont. Her acupuncture training includes styles from both traditional Chinese medicine and French energetics (by Joseph Helms). He subsequently founded the Northern College of Acupuncture, based in York, and steered the College towards the first acupuncture degree course in the UK. He maintains a private practice in Traditional East Asian Medicine with a focus on Sports Medicine.
Schnyer is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine (DAOM) and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Austin. Stener-Victorin is a researcher at the Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Wayne’s research is evaluating how mind-body and related complementary and alternative medicine practices clinically impact chronic health conditions, and understanding the physiological and psychological mechanisms underlying observed therapeutic effects. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on health care management. The researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with rehabilitation training is effective for the treatment of post-stroke spastic hemiplegia.
One recent study concluded that acupuncture stimulates brain cell proliferation in the cerebrum.
Additionally, the investigators note that scalp acupuncture at GV20 and Taiyang improves “coordination and compensation functions among cortical functional areas” in ICH patients. No significant changes were found in liver ALT and AST level in the EA-non-acupoint group (P > 0.05). The results were compared with subjects receiving a non-invasive simulation of electroacupuncture stimulation (sham-acupuncture) plus fluoxetine. In addition, the investigators note that this style of acupuncture has been proven effective in the treatment of "refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), major depressive disorder (MDD), post-stroke depression, and MDD-associated residual insomnia.” Fluoxetine was chosen as the study’s medication of choice because it is a widely prescribed SSRI used for the treatment of major depression. Ayurveda offers mainly three kinds of treatment - through Ayurvedic medicines, diet and lifestyle control and Panchakarma. He served as the President of the Vermont Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from 2001 – 2006.


She splits her time between acupuncture practice, conventional pain management, and clinical research in acupuncture and pain mechanisms. He also set up the Foundation for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine and then joined the Department of Health Sciences, University of York.
She is also visiting professor with Longjiang Scholar, Chair Professorship at Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, China. They discovered that electroacupuncture “exerts a neuroprotective effect in ischemic stroke” and found that acupuncture activates the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) pathway, an important protein communication pathway involved in cell proliferation.
Observation of clinical efficacy of acupuncture for cerebral vasospasm after embolization of ruptured aneurysms].
There was no significant improvement in the pathological changes of liver in the EA-LR 3 and EA-non-acupoint groups. The results were tabulated and the researchers concluded that electroacupuncture stimulation increased the clinical effectiveness of fluoxetine. Yintang (EX-HN3), Sishencong (EX-HN1), Toulinqi (GB15), Shuaigu (GB8), Taiyang (EX-HN5), Touwei (ST8). His research interests are varied, and include evaluating the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture, as well as neuroimaging to explore the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture’s action.
EA (2 Hz, 6 V) was applied to bilateral "Taichong" (LR 3) and non-acupoint (the interspace between the 4th and 5th bones of toes in parallel with LR 3) for 30 min, respectively. They noted that electroacupuncture "is a safe and effective intervention that augments the antidepressant efficacy. Vitaly graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) with a MS degree in Acupuncture in 2002 and in addition to his research career, practices acupuncture at Brigham & Women's Hospital Pain Management Center in Boston, MA. He has served as the Principle Investigator for six National Institute of Health SBIR grants. He is co-ordinator of the STRICTA initiative, which involves an international group of experts with the aim of improving standards of reporting of clinical trials of acupuncture.
Schnyer has been a leader in the field of Chinese medicine research; she has developed innovative research methodologies to evaluate complex interventions and better reflect clinical practice.
2000 in Obstetrics and Gynecology with the thesis title: ”Acupuncture in Reproductive Medicine – Applications in Human Assisted Reproduction and Aspects of Clinical and Experimental Neuroendocrinology”. Her research research has made substantial contributions to the evidence on efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety of acupuncture. The investigators concluded that acupuncture “significantly ameliorated neurological deficits and cerebral infarction” in cases of cerebral injuries. Department of Neurosurgery, Wuxi Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Jiangsu Province, China. Following his graduate work, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NIH studying the rhythmic properties of neural cultures.
He is lead editor of the book, “Acupuncture research: strategies for establishing an evidence base” and, with Volker Scheid, a co-editor of, “The integration of East Asian medicine into contemporary healthcare”, both published by Elsevier. Her clinical research has focused primarily on acupuncture as a treatment for depression and women’s health.
Between 2002-2004 she did a postdoc at Basic Medical Research Center, International University of Health and Welfare, Otawara, Japan, and she become associate professor 2004. She is committed to the training of future generations of integrative medicine physicians and researchers and developed the first postgraduate international summer school on clinical research methods in this field.
The activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) of the liver supernatant were detected by using Lai's method. He is a graduate of the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has received an MS degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the University of Michigan. She has served as Research Associate at the Harvard Medical School Osher Research Center since 2002 and is a Research Consultant to the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, and to the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona.
Her research is truly translational and focuses on the critical role of sex steroids in female pathology in rat and mouse models (preclinical) and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine and metabolic pathology, affecting ~10% of women of reproductive age.
Over the last 15 years, she has conducted a number of large trials with a total of over 50,000 patients. The patients and the raters did not know if the needles were actually inserted or if they were sham-insertions that merely simulated the acupuncture experience.
In addition, her research pursue new avenues of alternative, non-pharmacological treatment strategies with main focus on acupuncture, which have fewer negative side effects and may alter indications for first-line therapies for endocrine dysfunction, obesity, and metabolic dysfunction. Harris is currently investigating mechanisms of acupuncture and acupressure in the treatment of chronic pain and fatigue conditions. His recent investigations have focused on the role of brain neurotransmitters in acupuncture analgesia and chronic pain.
He is a member of the American Pain Society and a past co-President for the Society for Acupuncture Research. He serves as Associate Editor of and Scientific Advisor for the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, and is an ad hoc reviewer for several other scientific publications.



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