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View Poll Results: Would you use acupuncture/herbal medicine while cruising?
Yes, if I was ill 8 23.53%
Yes, as preventive medicine 13 38.24%
No way 11 32.35%
Don't know 2 5.88%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 17-04-2008, 16:07   #1
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Would You Use Alternative Health Care While Cruising?

Hi all,

I sorta touched on this before but would like to do an actual poll.

How many folks would avail themselves of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Massage Therapy as preventive and recuperative medicine while cruising (particularly in foreign ports)?

Muffin and I are doctors of oriental medicine and are curious about the possibility of earning some cash from fellow cruisers who have health issues or (more importantly) would like to stay healthy.


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Old 17-04-2008, 17:55   #2
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I don't use it Stateside, so I probably wouldn't use it when traveling. However, massage therapy, if done well with proper medical training is a lifesaver and a big money maker anywhere in the world. The rich always need a good pampering.

BTW: Are you Asian? Because a lot of Asian Americans wouldn't appreciate the term "Oriental Medicine." Could be a real turn off for some in the marketing materials. Not trying to be mean... trying to help out.
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Old 17-04-2008, 20:39   #3
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FOr a bad bacterial infection, I'd look for a shot of antibiotics, or if stuck, use some traditional medicine of penicillin mould growing on an orange or bread and internal loading up of garlic. For some conditions I have found acupuncture very effective, and I have a lot of time for a good osteopath if my joints are misaligned. Horses for courses
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Old 17-04-2008, 21:47   #4
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I rarely like to take medicine, however massage medicine or herbal medicine(disclaimer: both administered properly and safely) can be good ways to feel better... even if there is no actual effect, the placebo effect can be powerful. I'm not too fond of needles, even when they are absolutely necessary, so I doubt I'd be up for acupuncture personally, unless it was one of those things where I've got a fairly major problem, and nothing else has worked, so might as well try it.
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Old 17-04-2008, 23:18   #5
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Acupuncture might be very hard to practice in a marine environment. You need sterile needles that you dispose of at the end of the treatment session because of the HIV and hepatitis risks. Our hospital does acupuncture, but it is under strictly controlled conditions.

Skin infections can be a real problem on a yacht, and prepping the skin to safely do acupuncture would be a real challenge. We live in the day of MERSA (Methicillin resistant staph aureus), and I don't believe that you would want to have acupuncture if you possibly had MERSA on your skin.

Herbal medicines would be much easier and safer to do on a yacht. In medical school, we learned the first rule of medicine: "Hurry up and treat the patient before he gets better." The body is engineered to heal itself and cure itself. Even expensive modern medicines don't cure you. They simply shift the balance in your body in favor of recovery and healing. Sometimes the immune system needs a little help from doctors, but ultimately, it's the body that heals itself.

So if I was going to try to practice alternative medicine on a yacht, I would move in the direction of herbal medicine. There's less risk of complications, and you could help tip the body's balance in the direction of health and healing.
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Old 18-04-2008, 04:01   #6
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because of the HIV and hepatitis risks.
I don't think you can catch that from yourself though ;-) :-)
I don't see the point if you are not practicing such now, why would you when cruising. Stick to what you know.
One thing that I must say does work, is Coloidial Silver. I don't think it the cure all that some proclaim, but it certainly takes care of many infections, both internal and external. It is even recomended that it is good for killing some Bacteria and Viruses in the water tanks. I didn't realise till just a short time ago, but apparently passenger ships have their water tanks flashed with Silver for protection.
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Old 18-04-2008, 04:50   #7
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The (US) FDA has concluded that the risk of using silver products exceeds any unsubstantiated benefit.

Excerpted from:
FDA > CDRH > CFR Title 21 Database Search

“... Colloidal silver ingredients and silver salts have been marketed in over-the-counter (OTC) drug products for the treatment and prevention of numerous disease conditions. There are serious and complicating aspects to many of the diseases these silver ingredients purport to treat or prevent. Further, there is a lack of adequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts for OTC use in the treatment or prevention of any disease. These ingredients and salts include, but are not limited to, silver proteins, mild silver protein, strong silver protein, silver, silver ion, silver chloride, silver cyanide, silver iodide, silver oxide, and silver phosphate...”

See also:
Colloidal Silver: Risk Without Benefit ~ Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Colloidal Silver: Risk Without Benefit
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Old 18-04-2008, 05:39   #8
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Old 18-04-2008, 09:28   #9
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massage would be great, thats somthing i would pay for once in a wile
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Old 18-04-2008, 16:43   #10
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Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far.

Here are a few clarifications...

sssulivan-- The term Oriental Medicine is an accepted term for Traditional Chinese Medicine in both the East and the West

Sluissa-- Placebo?? It even works on skeptics

Maxingout-- I assume you are an MD? Your point is well taken.
However...
All needles are one use disposable needles sealed in sterile packaging.
The needle site is always cleaned thoroughly (we use the same standard Clean Needle Technique approved by OSHA).

One is more likely to come into contact with MERSA in a hospital than in a marina or anchorage. Still, one should be careful.

Alan-- This has been debated for years. My current opinion concurs... just don't take too much or you will turn blue.


Gord-- you trust the FDA? This is just the first thing that popped up from a google on the subject of FDA/Big Pharma. A thorough search will yield info that will curl your hair.

Byron J. Richards -- FDA Collaboration with Big Pharma Raises Eyebrows

Our website can give folks a basic overview of Oriental Medicine

Main Page @ acupuncturemed.bravehost.com - A Bravenet.com Hosted Site

I think the poll so far reflects the same understanding (or misunderstanding as it may be) that is found in the general populace.

Oriental Medicine is Internal Medicine and is quite appropriate for serious illnesses. It is often superior to western medicine for chronic illness and is unsurpassed for PREVENTIVE medicine (IMHO). I have successfully treated (with herbs) infections that did not respond to pharmaceutical anti-biotics.

Western medicine is unparalleled for heroic emergency medicine and in its ability to peer into the body for diagnostic purposes.

If you are having a heart attack... GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM!!

Afterwards, come see us.

Better yet, come see us first and, perhaps avoid the heart attack altogether

Oriental Medicine in
"conjunction" with Western medicine is emerging as the new optimum health paradigm. Luminaries such Dr. Mehmet Oz and facilities such as the Mayo Clinic now incorporate Oriental Medicine into some of their protocols.

Anyway, I don't want to use this thread as a soapbox for my profession... just thought a clarifying note might be interesting and informative.

Thanks again to everyone who voted and offered posts!!

We are looking forward to see what the final results will be. Even the early results are promising. It would be nice to be able to practice our profession (even a little bit) and cruise at the same time.

mm
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Old 18-04-2008, 17:06   #11
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Am well aware that Western Medicine is not the magic cure all sometimes portrayed.......but always been a bit sceptical of stuff like this - but maybe ignorance is bliss?!.....however I know that a massage from someone who knows what they are doing is a powerful thing.....even if perhaps half is all in the mind - IMO no bad thing itself - but certainly ain't all in the mind.

I voted would try if sick - but the caveat should have been, if nothing else was available that I knew worked.
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Old 18-04-2008, 19:35   #12
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[quote=Alan Wheeler;153753]I don't think you can catch that from yourself though

If the acupuncture needles have been used previously on patients with AIDS or Hepatitis, you can pass it on to a new person when the same needles are used again.

Check out this National Insitute of Health warning:
An Introduction to Acupuncture [NCCAM Health Information]

"Still, complications have resulted from inadequate sterilization of needles and from improper delivery of treatments. Practitioners should use a new set of disposable needles taken from a sealed package for each patient and should swab treatment sites with alcohol or another disinfectant before inserting needles. When not delivered properly, acupuncture can cause serious adverse effects, including infections and punctured organs."

I was talking with a friend crusing in the South Pacific a month ago, and he told me that there were three yachts that had MERSA infections in American Samoa when they were there.

The bottom line for yachties sailing offshore is that you don't want to do things that could possible expose you to the risk of serious infections. Acupuncture can be done as long as meticulous and rigorous controls are used to prevent infection.

(I am an M.D. and we have acupuncture in the same clinic where I work. One of my colleagues is a retired general surgeon, and he now does alternative medicine - which includes acupuncture.)

I would like someone to do a study of the bacteria (flora) found on cruisers and their yachts. I don't have any idea what their "normal flora" actually is. I've never heard of any studies being done.
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Old 19-04-2008, 01:07   #13
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Dave, I don't think you realised I was joking. Like aren't we assuming we are at sea and carrying out a remedy on ones self? and like how do you stick needles into your own back. Sorry, maybe it just sounded funnier in my own mind.
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Old 19-04-2008, 04:17   #14
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Hi mm,
I voted yes for prevention

Having lived in a variety of countries like Holland where alternate and /or holistic medicine is widely accepted I am sold on the natural benefits of these kinds of treatments.

I would think you could make a good income from offering groups of cruisers free seminars on options available to them and then provide packaged solutions to specific chronic problems.

If positive word got out via the various cruising sites of your successes then I think it would be a great way to meet other cruisers and supplement your income….

BTW…..Good luck in developing a colonic board that fits into a sailboats toilet!
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Old 19-04-2008, 08:28   #15
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Wheels,

I was kind of wondering if you were joking, but I wasn't sure.

I still am wondering about skin infections on board yachts. We made it for eleven years without any serious ones, but I've seen a few potential disasters out there, especially in remote places. When we started our trip, I had an extensive medical kit and ended up throwing most of it away because the medications expired. When it came time to renew the medicines, I got one antibiotic for skin infections and one antibiotic for diarrhea, and that was it. Now that we are in the time of MERSA, I might change my antibiotic strategy before going offshore to make sure I had an antibiotic that covered MERSA.
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