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Психология Crank Medicine Becomes Respectable
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In treating disease, the frontier between “establishment” medicine and “alternative” medicine seems to be shifting. In recent years, certain beliefs and views that seemed to be part of “crank” territory have moved across into the hallowed regions of accepted practice. So what’s next? What are the ideas which we currently pooh pooh which by next year we’ll have begun to accept?

YOU asked Michael van Straten – who practices acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy and herbalism – to report on past developments, and to predict what may be on the way.

It is undoubtedly true that some of yesterday’s fringe therapies are becoming part of everyday medical routine, and I believe that a number of today’s unorthodox ideas will tomorrow appear in the textbooks as standard practice.

Foe example, acupuncture has existed in China for seven thousand years, the earliest writing dates back to 3000 BC, to the Yellow Emperor. But in the West acupuncture was regarded as mumbo jumbo until President Nixon’s visit to China. One of the American newsmen, James Reston, was taken ill on the tour and while in hospital witnessed an operation under acupuncture anaesthesia. He described what he had seen in the New York Times and started a story of controversy.

Allegations of hypnosis, auto-suggestion and even the secret use of pain-killing drugs poured from the medical Press, until the American Medical Association was invited to send an investigating team to China. Doctors were forced by the evidence of their own eyes to accept acupuncture anaesthesia; even so, most still disregard its therapeutic value.

It’s easy to understand the scientists’ caution, as Aldous Huxley has pointed out: “That a needle stuck into one’s foot should improve the functioning of one’s liver is obviously incredible, it makes no sense. Within our system of explanation there is no reason why the needle prick should be followed by an improvement of liver function. Therefore we say it can’t happen. The only trouble with this argument is that as a matter of empirical fact, it does happen.”

But acupuncture has proven uses in the treatment of many diseases – from drug addiction to migraine, from eczema and psoriasis to high blood pressure, from arthritis and rheumatism to ulcers. But widespread acceptance of this lies in the future. The development of sensitive electronic apparatus which can trace the course of the Chinese “meridians” or lines of energy flow, and which can also measure changes in current when specific points are pricked, may help.

Another therapy which is now crossing into established practice is naturopathy. Again it is very old. In 1550 BC the Ebers Papyrus gave a remedy for nightblindness – “roasted ox liver crushed to a paste.” This remedy is certain to have been effective, because of the Vitamin A content of the liver and its relation to nightblindness. But that relationship is a discovery of recent times.

from the Observer


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    In treating disease, the frontier between “establishment” medicine and “alternative” medicine seems to be shifting. In recent years, certain beliefs and views that seemed to be part of “crank” territory have moved across into the hallowed regions of accepted practice. So what’s next? What are the ideas which we currently pooh pooh which by next year we’ll have begun to accept? YOU asked Michael van Straten – who practices acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy and herbalism –... [читать подробенее]