All posts by Ben Kavoussi

Ben Kavoussi, MS, is in the UC Davis Family Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant program. Ben has done extensive research on the origins of acupuncture and its link with bloodletting. He argues that acupuncture is the Chinese equivalent of the astrology-based medicine that was prevalent in Europe until the 18th-century. In his articles, Ben explains how the purported holistic views of health in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are based on modern misinterpretations of medieval views on health and disease. Ben has also written about the factors that underlie the modern craze for unscientific ideas. He can be reached at ben.kavoussi@gmail.com.

California Acupuncturists Don’t Need to Know English!

English proficiency is not a necessary precursor to becoming a contributing citizen in California’s economy and should not be used by the Board to discriminate against talented and skilled individuals who seek to provide high-quality acupuncture services in California. — State Senators Curren D. Price Jr. and Darrell Steinberg, letter to the California Acupuncture Board, March 22, 2013. To appreciate the recklessness...

/ September 1, 2013

California Acupuncture Licensing: Sinking Lower in the Slime!

The sun shone down upon that putrescence, As if to roast it to a turn, And to give back a hundredfold to great Nature The elements she had combined… — Charles Baudelaire, The Carcase1 Trouble for the struggling California Acupuncture Board (Board) is far from being over. After being taken to task by the California Senate less than a year ago for...

/ February 1, 2013

Acupuncture: NCCAM Calls California’s Bluff

The [California Department of Consumer Affairs’] use of the term “endorsement” is inaccurate, may confuse the public, and may lead the public to falsely conclude that NIH has made certain efficacy and/or safety conclusions regarding acupuncture. Further, consensus conference reports are not a policy statement of NIH or the Federal Government… NIH asks that you correct these two points of information in...

/ September 14, 2012

Oriental Medicine: a Tall Tale of Outdated Lore

Editor’s Note: Dr. Gorski was on a rare vacation last week, recharging his batteries. As a result, there is no new material by him this week. Fortunately, Ben Kavoussi was ready with another in his series of posts on traditional Chinese medicine. Dr. Gorski will return next week; that is, if he doesn’t return even sooner because he can’t stand to be...

/ August 13, 2012

California Acupuncture Board: a Mockery of Consumer Protection

Many of the specific issues that the Governor and the Legislature asked the Commission to review have festered because the [California] Acupuncture Board has often acted as a venue for promoting the profession rather than regulating the profession. — Little Hoover Commission, Regulation of Acupuncture: A Complementary Therapy Framework: September 2004, page 63. On March 12, 2012, during a brief Sunset Review...

/ June 22, 2012

Foolishness or Fraud? Bogus Science at NCCAM

Voodoo science is a sort of background noise, annoying but rarely rising to a level that seriously interferes with genuine scientific discourse… The more serious threat is to the public, which is not often in a position to judge which claims are real and which are voodoo. Those who are fortunate enough to have chosen science as a career have an obligation...

/ June 8, 2012

Exorcism and Sorcery as Health Benefits?!

Luis Fernando Verissimo, a Brazilian writer, once proposed “voodoopuncture”. Instead of going to the acupuncturist, you would be treated without leaving home. The voodoopuncturist would stick acupuncture needles in the voodoo dolls of you! I add that voodoopuncture could be outsourced to Haiti and/or China. It is a win-win-win situation! — Leonardo Monasteri, Brazilian economist As unbelievable as this might sound, “voodoopuncture”...

/ June 16, 2011
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The Forefather of Acupuncture Energetics, a Charlatan?

Not only his name and his titles of nobility were forged, but parts of the teachings of the man who introduced acupuncture to Europe were also invented. Even today, treatments are provided based on his fantasies. — Hanjo Lehmann1 Decades before President Nixon’s visit to communist China, and before the articles in the Western popular press on the use of acupuncture in...

/ April 21, 2011
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Asian Bear Bile Remedies: Traditional Medicine or Barbarism?

Imagine living 20 years spending 24 hours a day in a cage that tightly fits your body, not giving you room to stand up, stretch out, turn around, or move at all. Imagine that twice a day during these years you would have a metal catheter inserted into a hole which has been cut into your abdomen, allowing the catheter to easily...

/ March 24, 2011

An ICD Code for the Running Piglets!

… animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous ones; (g) stray dogs; (h) those that are included in this classification; (i) those that tremble as if they were mad; (j) innumerable ones; (k) those drawn with a very fine camel’s-hair brush; (l) etcetera;...

/ February 26, 2011