Weaponized acupuncturists stake claim in Wyoming

Weaponized acupuncturists stake claim in Wyoming

The folks in Wyoming have always seemed to me a pretty hardy bunch.  But are they ready for bleeding? I'm not talking about the kind of bleeding you do when you, say, fall off your horse.  I'm talking about totally gratuitous bleeding, the kind that results when an acupuncturist stabs you with a lancet.  For no good reason, and intentionally.  

Bleeding is an "ancient" treatment, which in the warped reasoning of CAM practitioners, automatically makes it a good idea. "Western" medicine gave up bleeding patients in the 1800s when the idea that the body's condition was governed by the four humors fell by the wayside. The thinking went that bleeding would rid the patient of an excess of one of the humors, thereby restoring "balance." 

According to the Director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, OR, bleeding at peripheral points around the body had all sorts of uses in ancient "Eastern" medicine: sore throats, mental disorders, infantile convulsions, cardiac pain, enuresis -- you name it. But . . .

Blood-letting is a method of therapy that is difficult to explain in modern terms. Aside from the traditional theoretical basis for these treatments in letting out heat and excess factors, a key issue is whether it actually produces the claimed effects. Many Western acupuncturists have stated informally that they get dramatic results from this treatment method, but, unfortunately, there is no evidence presented to support such contentions.

 In other words, it's business as usual in the world of acupuncturists and other CAM practitioners. Anecdotal evidence and the go-ahead from ancient texts is all you need to stab your patient with a lancet and let him bleed a bit. 

So what does this have to do with Wyoming?

A few days ago, a bill was introduced in the Wyoming legislature licensing acupuncturists and Oriental medicine practitioners for the first time in that state. As is typical of licensing efforts for naturopaths and acupuncturists, they go all out when defining their scope of practice when they draft their licensing bills. (And, make no mistake, it is they who are doing the drafting.)  Wyoming House Bill 246 defines acupuncture as a form of "primary health care" for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and health promotion.  

The bill includes a long list of treatments and instruments acupuncturists could use in their practices.  It includes lancets, which alerted me to the fact that they wanted to bleed their patients without having to come right out and say "bleeding patients" in their proposed practice act.  Here's what else they can do:

  • Stimulation of points on the body through the use of needles,  . . . moxibustion, Qigong, thermal methods, herbal preparations, light, sound, vibration, pressure, magnetism, electricity, suction, water or other means;
  • Manual therapy including massage, acupressure, acupuncture, trigger point dry needling, reflexology, shiatsu, mobilization, manipulation, cupping, tuina and acutotement;
  • Auricular, hand, nose, face, foot and scalp microsystem therapy;
  • Adjunctive therapies including dietary and nutritional counseling, recommendation of breathing techniques and therapeutic exercises and lifestyle, behavioral and stress counseling;
  • Diagnostic techniques including observation, listening, smelling, inquiring, palpitation, electrodermal screenings, thermography and the routine use of functional testing through physical or laboratory tests;
  • The practice of Chinese herbal medicine if the acupuncturist has passed a nationally recognized examination approved by the [acupuncture] board.

But wait! There's more! 

the sale, recommendation, prescription, administration, preparation or compounding of herbs, vitamins, minerals, animals, homeopathic preparations, enzymes, glandular products, natural substances, dietary supplements or nutritional supplements in the form of raw herbs, decoctions, teas, tinctures, infusions, granules, pills or powders according to oriental medicine concepts.

Since when are homeopathic preparations part of "ancient" Chinese medicine? And compounding animals? Do they slay them with lancets first?

No place known as "the cowboy state," where rodeo is the state sport and the bison is the state animal (surely they wouldn't compound a bison?) should fall for this nonsense.  This is West Coast stuff, Wyoming. Don't do it.  


Points of Interest 2/9/2015
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