I was lucky enough to be able to attend some of the Society for Acupuncture Research Conference held earlier this month in Chapel Hill. The conference theme this year was "Translational Research in Acupuncture: Bridging Science, Practice, and Community," and the focus was on presenting new, state-of-the-art research in acupuncture and Asian medicine.
Research in acupuncture and Asian medicine is quite a difficult task, as most of the modalities practiced within the scope of Asian medicine do not fit neatly into the standard western medical research protocols. It is, of course, debatable whether or not the current protocols within the world of research are even useful for demonstrating the effectiveness of many mainstream western medical treatments and interventions.
There were many intriguing ideas presented by leaders in the world of Asian and complementary medicine. The presenters included Ted Kaptchuk (one of my favorite figures in the world of Asian medicine) of Harvard University who researches the placebo effect, and Helene Langevin of the University of Vermont who has studied the interactive role that connective tissue plays upon insertion of an acupuncture needle into a human body.
It was truly an honor to take part in the conference, and I invite you to read this article from the Wall Street Journal to learn more: www.wallstreetjournal.com.