Oodles of Acupuncture Styles
These are noodles. Acupuncture is not like Noodles.
The “American” approach to Acupuncture takes on many appearances. Categories of acupuncture “styles” include acronyms such as CCM, (Classical Chinese Medicine), TCM, (Traditional Chinese Medicine), TJM, (Traditional Japanese Medicine), FE (Five Element), AOM, (Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), FE (another one- this one is known as ‘French Energetics’), CA, (Community Acupuncture), and many other variations promoted in the profession of Acupuncture in the United States of America. At times, we also use the same words in our approach to help work with family, friends, acquaintances, patients and business associates. Why all the selections? What makes the difference? Is there truly a difference in methods? Do they have a competitive advantage with one style versus another?
You say Tomato…
In my professional opinion, our ‘American Acupuncture’ is still in its infancy. We are still not integrated into major hospitals and outpatient clinics and we do not have any stakeholder position at the state or national level of healthcare compared to western conventional medicine counterparts. We do not have a hospital residency program and we do not have a fully integrated Acupuncture hospital (like the ones found in China, Japan and Germany.) Many inroads certainly have been made in the past. I know this through both professional and personal experience. I was the first acupuncturist (actually the first CAM provider) to establish hospital privileges in the Portland metropolitan area hospital systems. I have survived the ups and downs of the growth periods of an integrated medical center. I have endured many positives and negatives about running a well established healing center. And I have lived to tell about it.
Stems and Branches
Stems and Branches of BaZi Acupuncture
In my mind, acupuncture is still very much practitioner dependent. We do not have the depth of understanding of East Asian Medicine, we do not have a system that envelopes our efforts in the health care and well-being of our patients, and we tend not to have the sustainability for our own cultural and economic survival as health care workers, practitioners and healers. We are still examine the “Stems and Branches” of acupuncture, (politically, financially and culturally) and do not focus on the great ‘Tree’ of East Asian Medicine at its trunk core. Instead of just complaining about his dilemma, I search for answers and try to understand the expression of healing in the body, mind and spirit.
My contribution to our profession is three-fold:
 to further our understanding of Acupuncture in the realms of Neuroscience and Pain
 To establish a database of material that compares the BaZi disposition of a person with their health status.
 To remind myself and our colleagues that first, and foremost, “We specialize in Human Beings.”
The BaZi Acupuncture Project
This project will be a five-year longitudinal study on the relative comparison of a patient’s BaZi basic design to their health conditions defined by Chinese Medical diagnosis and conventional Western medical diagnosis. The data will continue a strict criteria on the correct standardization of the person’s BaZi as well as health history and evaluation. With upwards of 3000 case studies we will be able to draw some statistical variations and extract some hypothesis on the nature and the use of the ‘Medical BaZi’ and Acupuncture.