Recognise Acupuncture System as 'System Of Medicine' and not as Health care / Therapy

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                              An Appeal to our Hon.Prime Minister of India

Subject: Recognise Acupuncture as a System of Medicine not as Health care /  Therapy


Respected and Hon.Prime Minister Of India,

            We are very proud that as a prime minister of this great Indian sub continent , you created a big thrust to this country‘s socio economic    systems,     traditional medicines, science and technology , Industry, Health and every other    important sectors of  the country and put India in an enviable position in the eyes of the world. And we re aware that your vision and mission is to create a better India. We  believe   in   your  dynamic   capabilities   and concern for the countrymen, we would like to present a request to your high office , which will hugely benefit the common man of India.

           As a part of acupuncturists community and a senior citizen of India, I was very happy that after a long waiting, on Feb. 21, 2019 DHR has recommended to the Health Ministry for Recognition of Acupuncture. But the regret is that ,even after one year of recommendations, no concrete decisions are made and implementation process is not started. Further point of agony is , Acupuncture , a system with
a highest potential and the 2nd largest practiced medicine in the world after Modern Medicine (allopathy) is belittled by being recommended as an Independent System of Health Care / Therapy instead of “System of Medicine”

              Acupuncture is one of the most ancient traditional method of healing. Acupuncture has been practiced in ancient India as “Suchi veda” and the mentions of this treatment is found in ancient Indian literatures. It has been practiced especially in Asian countries for thousands of years and also practiced widely throughout the world. Acupuncture has its complete theoretical basis in regards to health, pathogenesis and pathogenic factors, body’s   internal   conditions    and connectivity, therapeutic intervention etc. Thus Acupuncture can be regarded as an independent system of medicine.

             It is governed by a comprehensive theoretical frame work which enables the practitioners to identify and determine the etiology, pathogenesis, differential diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic modules for different acute and chronic ailments. It has both curative and preventive potential.

The World Health Organization Reviews Clinical Trials of Acupuncture

Summary of the findings of the review, published in 2002, follows:

A.           Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which Acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment:
B.           Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of Acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.
C.           Diseases, Symptoms or Conditions for Which There are Only Individual Controlled Trials Reporting Some Therapeutic Effects, but for Which Acupuncture is Worth Trying Because Treatment by Conventional and Other Therapies Are Difficult
D.           Diseases, Symptoms or Conditions for which Acupuncture may be Tried Provided the Practitioner has Special Modern Medical Knowledge and Adequate Monitoring Equipment.

I would like to put forth the following explanation to support my claim, why Acupuncture should be recognized as “System of Medicine”

1.           Acupuncture is regarded as a system of Medicine in all other parts of the world and requires 4.5 years of education and the passed outs are considered as “Medical (Acupuncture) Doctors”. If in India , they are only considered as Therapists, we can’t stand shoulder to shoulder with Acupuncturists of other parts of the world.

2.          The full fledged acupuncturists and present full time acupuncture practitioners will be deprived to get the equal status with other system of medicine practitioners.

3.          Acupuncturists with other medical background (but with limited knowledge in Acupuncture Science) will be treated as acupuncture doctors where as Acupuncturists without any medical background ( but may be with better knowledge in Acupuncture Science) will be treated as therapists only. Each and everyone knows that more than 90% acupuncture practitioners in India now are in the
2nd category. So automatically the country will face a serious shortage of acupuncture doctors.

4.        We have a great doubt, how the freshers will accept 'system of health care / therapy' as profession instead of 'system of medicine' and will be restricted only to very few clinical conditions. Obviously everyone knows system of medicine is definitely the highest category of medical profession. It is also evident that chances of opening full fledged degree and diploma course in acupuncture may be
questionable due to possible less demand. So ultimately after this present generation of acupuncturists a serious gap of future work force is evident.

5.         Though acupuncture fulfilled all the criteria to get the system of medicine status since 2000, this abrupt change will definitely have a negative impact Internationally also because as per WHO present report named " WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023". In WHO report it is clearly mentioned about the huge growth of acupuncture science throughout the globe which is perhaps the highest in all the traditional and alternative system of medicine. So if the highest practiced science (in Traditional & Complimentary Medicine category) is not getting equal status like other System of Medicine, then serious question may arise about future of the Acupuncture System in India.

6.         Acupuncture has been recognized in 2 states ( West Bengal and Maharashtra) and why other indian states should be deprived of the benefit of the science in a legalized manner which will help the growth of the science in a regulated and structured process.

Conclusion & Appeal   

            In the world, Acupuncture is the second most popular and practiced System of medicine after the conventional western medicine. Acupuncture fulfills all the 'Essential ' and 'Desirable' criteria (as per the scientific guidelines) to be considered as one of the independent system of medicine as it has a unique concept of health and disease as well as specific own & holistic understanding with safe, standardize and effective treatment devices. This System not only touches the recently emerged 
concept of mind-body medicine (psycho-neuro- immuno- endocrinological basis of disease) of modern medical science, but also endures the participation of patients in the therapeutic process and thereby promotes a community involvement in the healing process.

            Considering the above facts, as a part of an Acupuncturists community and a seeker of health for my fellow countrymen, I request you to recognize “Acupuncture as a System of Medicine” for a healthy Nation . 

           All the Acupuncture community awaits your earliest implementation.

Yours Respectfully,
M.Manoharan, Acupuncturist, C/O Acupuncture Foundation, Hyderabad. Ph:6303591302 ,  mail: manoharan303@gmail.com