Why Is Acupuncture Still 'Alternative'?

Twice Stephen E. Straus, the director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, mentioned acupuncture as a subject of research.1 Why is acupuncture still in the realm of alternative medicine?

More than 20 years ago, back in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), our community hospital (for poor people) had a staff neurologist who practiced acupuncture full time. Almost every community district clinic had an acupuncture practitioner. They used acupuncture as a standard of medical care, along with medical cups and other methods of reflex therapy.

Izak B. Dimenstein, MD, PhD,
Loyola University Chicago Medical Center
935 S. 8th Ave
La Grange, IL 60525

1. B.A. Maher, E. Russo, "A Conversation with Stephen E. Straus," The Scientist, 16[24]:16, Dec. 9, 2002.

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