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NY Times Comes Out For Acupuncture For Pain

A colleague of mine, a wonderful psychotherapist, Kathy Gurland, who practices in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, NY, pointed me to an article in the May 7th New York Times on acupuncture. It talks about how, despite the effectiveness of acupuncture, it’s still not covered by insurance.  Of course, I’ve been seeing articles  like this for 19 years,when I first began studying Chinese Medicine. It’s titled, The Cost Of Acupuncture:

Despite growing evidence that acupuncture benefits certain health conditions, most insurance companies still don’t pay for it, writes Lesley Alderman in today’s Patient Money column.

There are a handful of well-respected studies indicating that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for a range of conditions, like chronic headaches, osteoarthritis, depression in pregnancy and low back pain. Western doctors are beginning to embrace it, sometimes sending their patients to acupuncturists for specific conditions. And the federal Food and Drug Administration takes it at least seriously enough to regulate acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners. But insurers have been reluctant to cover acupuncture. And even in the relatively rare instances when insurers do, they might pay for only a few visits or a specific condition.

After reading the article I felt compelled to add my two cents into the mix. Here’s the full article:  And just in case you don’t want to read through the 86 other comments in order to get to mine, here it is:

Since then, several other acupuncturists have written in with positive responses, though if I had gotten flack for what I said, that would have suited me just as well.



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2 Responses to "NY Times Article On Acupuncture."

  • cdb
    May 20, 2010 - 10:47 pm

    You are right, it is odd how the comments after the NYT’s article became a bit of a p*ssing contest between CAN acupuncturists and acupuncturists who see patients individually.

    Absolutely, the point is Acupuncture WORKS! When you read about the first case in the story, where a woman’s infertility is treated & results in pregnancy after two months of weekly $70.00 visits! That’s less than $600.00, for what her conventional Doctor told her “I can’t help you come back in a year” and then what? $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 IVF treatments? And all that wasted time?

    Oh my, but she had to pay out of pocket for the pins…:(

    (I had to stop reading at that point…Sometimes the NYT’s articles on alternative care are just a bit wacked)

    I’d take paying whatever it costs, over waiting, and losing precious time. ANYTIME. Besides, there are many, many women who’ve had equally successful results using ONLY acupuncture, if it doesn’t work you don’t have to spend any more time at it than you want.

    You can make the decision to try something else should you need to, when you are ready. The insurance companies and the AMA work for themselves, just like the banks…

  • Jin Hu
    June 16, 2010 - 6:56 pm

    Wow, I know you nailed it! Thanks for good writing. Regards

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