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Re: acupuncture, chinese meds. & depression ???

Posted by Dysthymic Duck on October 20, 1999, at 7:19:26

In reply to Re: acupuncture, chinese meds. & depression ???, posted by jamie on October 20, 1999, at 3:32:44

> I don't see how sticking needles in someone is going to help anything in the brain. Or anything else. I have always been baffled and skeptical of pricking the skin to heal everything under the sun. Maybe it works like a placebo effect. I dunno. Not going to stick any needles in me.


Well, I think there is room for debate. I
think it seems outlandish to us Westerners
(me included) because it's based on an emipirical
model, not a scientific one, so we never learn
a single concept about it. It's a 'myth', so to
speak, that through what? 5000 years of trial and
error seems to work prety good. It's not miracle,
but it's not snake oil, either, I think.

Our bodies are laced with a network of
thousands (millions?) of nerves, some of
which never carry informaion back to the brain.
I.e. the vagal, if I recall correctly. One of
the papers -- the New York Time science section
in the last several weeks, I think, talked about
an implanted electronic device that gave the electrical
stimulation to the vagal nerve, to supress
serizures in the brain. Also, in their
controlled studies, I think, they had the
patients with the stimulators reporting feeling
happier than usual, and for not particular reason.
This could be due not have to takes meds, or med
side effects, but there were reasons (which I
can't recall) why they though it might be a future
treatment for depression. (I expect I'll be old
and gray before that happens, though.)

Also, it's been shown on brain scans that if you
stick a needle in area of the big toe related to
the eyem the visual cortex can be seen lighting
up on a CT scan (glucose utilization or Xenon
I don't remember) If you stick in a non-important
part of the toe, that part of the brain doesn't
lght up.

OK, NOW A BIG O.Y.O.H.: To my knowledge,
and despite all the testimonials I'm going to get
for saying this -- tradtional Easter Medicine
has not come up with cures for depression that are
significantly better than those of western
medicine. (I met an accupunturist once at
my western-oriented doctor's office; she said her
methods only helped her so much.) Some people ARE
cured by acupunture, and I believe them when tell
me. And some aren't Some find Prozac their
"miracle drug". Some others can't stand it, or
find it just doesn't work.

Here's the OTOH: If Eastern Medicine had a
cure-all for depression, I think it'd have gotten
out (or quickly patented by some corporation)
and we'd all know about it.

My doctor treats a lot of CFS, FMS, and
occasional (I think) people with depression,
bipolar, etc. His ability to treat CFS stuns me,
and he yet he said to me once,
"CFS is easy [to treat]. Depression is hard."




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