International Integrative Medicine (IM) Day inspires worldwide dialog, education, collaboration, research initiatives and programming about medicine that is patient-centered, holistic, economically and environmentally sustainable, and conscious of integrating different global medical systems. IIM Day promotes the principles and practice of models of integration and care that preserve the patient-healer relationship and the healing of the patient.

As an acupuncturist in my first year of practice, I welcome these words and the sentiments behind them. During my three years of study, Chinese Medicine became my life. It seemed completely normal to be layed, half-clothed on a couch while a cohort measured 3 cun below my patella, one fingerwidth from the anterior crest of my tibia to mark the point precisely with a felt tipped pen.  Should illness occur, acupuncture would be my first choice of treatment. It is as normal to me as to others, is taking an aspirin.

However, I’m aware that to many it is still seen as quackery or a result of placebo. It can be frustrating to have to defend your profession. While I’m aware acupuncture has it’s limitations, it also has such potential to improve the lives of so many. I’m currently engaged in research reviewing the evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Although my review will be systematic, and fulfill the requirements of a masters degree, good quality large-scale acupuncture trials are limited as is access and translation of foreign databases, partly due to the difficulties in getting funding .

I hope one day, we will see a better sharing of our knowledge on a truly global scale and an integrative approach to healthcare that has the patient and not politics and profit at it’s heart.


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