About This Blog

Wellness Clarity is a blog focusing on evidence-guided information about acupuncture and natural medicine.

It is written by Thomas Martin LAc who practices integrative medicine specializing in contemporary medical acupuncture, herbal medicine and clinical nutrition. He began studying traditional Chinese medicine in 1988 and has been in clinical practice since 1992. He resides in Portland, Oregon. For practice information see – integrativeacupuncture.org

Most of the studies referred to are necessarily small given the sociological inevitability that funding, media spot-light, status and other such issues play in setting up clinical trials. Nevertheless repeated high quality small studies add up to stronger evidence.

Also small studies can confirm clinical experience and contribute to confidence in encouraging clients to undergo a trial series of treatments for a certain condition for which little evidence was available. Evidence from a high quality small study may also begin a process of clinical doubt whereby a practitioner may look more closely at a particular case before recommending treatment or recommend other treatment modalities.

It is the firm belief of the writer that a fair-minded scientific investigation of natural substances and treatments like acupuncture and mind-body practices/therapies holds great promise in treating pain and disease using nature’s own multi-systems approach. With the current medical-industrial complex being exposed to increasing critical review, revealing excessive profiteering, statistical manipulations to promote favorable outcomes to studies, concealing of failed studies etc.  And through increasing public demand, we may see a renaissance in medicine giving birth to smarter, more sophisticated yet less toxic, less expensive treatments.

That is really the true promise of integrative medicine. Not simply, as at present, comprising a cluster of modalities many of which covertly reject the clear critical eye of science.  Claiming instead to be beyond critical research, with a holism outside the scope of scientific method, or containing unimpeachable ancient traditional wisdom , etc.

Additionally, a scientific approach is not in principle limited to reductionism nor to materialism. For the writer the scientific attitude involves the abiding sense that knowledge is always incomplete so we need to continually question theories and be open to unexpected discovery. As the great physicist and philosopher David Bohm used to insist  whatever we say a thing is, it is not that. It is both different from that, and more than that.