In Acupuncture therapy Govind Maad writes about some of the facts of acupuncture. Also excerpts of interview with Dr M B Prabhu.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of relieving pain and treating a variety of disease by inserting needles into various parts of the body. According to Chinese philosophy, disease and pain occur because of an imbalance between two principal forces of nature called yin and yang. The Chinese believe acupuncture restores this balance. Acupuncture influences a life force that flows along 12 paired and 2 unpaired meridians (channels of energy) that run longitudinally in the body. Specialists called acupuncturist insert sharp needles into one or several of 365 spots which are specified for this purpose on the human trunk, the extremities and the head. Insertion of needles produces a sharp pinching feeling. This feeling quickly disappears and is replaced by occasional tingling or a sense of numbers, heaviness or soreness while the needles are in place.
Acupuncture has been in continuous use in China and in Japan where it was introduced many centuries BC together with Chinese medicine. Acupuncture has been used for a variety of diseases and especially for the treatment of arthritis, asthma, migraine, ulcers, eye diseases and some mental illnesses. In the 1930’s the practice of acupuncture became popular and years later is still in use in several European countries especially France and Japan. Though not yet popular in India, the roots of acupuncture are believed to be in India, as one finds mention of the word ‘Shiraved’ (puncturing of veins) in the holy texts. Since the late 1950s, Chinese doctors have used this procedure to relieve pain during major surgery. The patient is conscious and apparently feels little or no pain.
Although there is no physiological basis to acupuncture, scientists have to acupuncture, scientists have proposed 3 major theories for how acupuncture work. One theory suggests that meridians (channels of energy) actually exist and connect the body’s organs in a special manner. According to this theory, accupuncture increases activity along the meridians and thus influences organ function. Scientists also believe that acupuncture works, at least in part, by increasing the brain’s production of natural painkillers called endorphins. Finally, scientists theorise that acupuncture may work through the nervous system by triggering signals that interrupt pain messages sent to the brain.
The striking difference between acupuncture and allopathy, is that allopathy just touches the surface of the diseases, thus giving the patient a momentary relief, while acupuncture nips the disease in the bud, thus curing the patient, once and for all.
Dr M B Prabhu, a leading acupuncturist from Dhupem, Mapusa, is going great guns treating patients by this comparatively new medical science called acupuncture. The large number of patients round outside his clinic at Mapusa and the tremendous response he evokes at his treatment camps in different parts of Goa and adjoining areas is a living testimony of his efficiency in acupuncture.
Dr. Prabhu’s SAI Acupuncture Research Centre at Dhupem Mapusa and his make – shift clinics at the treatment camps are indeed hospitals with a difference unlike other traditions hospitals, this hospitals of Dr Prabhu is sans any smell of drugs or a feeling of nausea associated with hospitals moreover, a friendly atmosphere of love, care and concern engulfs any entrant to this medical camp.
Recently, Dr Prabhu held an accupuncture treatment camp at Curchorem which was jointly sponsored by the Jaycees and it evoked a tremendous response. This journalist spoke to Dr Prabhu to gain an insight into this relatively new world of acupuncture. Here are some excerpts.
Q: Since acupuncture is a completely new science, did you face any opposition in setting up your clinic at Mapusa?
A: Yes-I had to clear the preconceived notions prevalent in the people’s minds that there can be no remedy without intake of medicines. I had to convince the people that needles, in fact, can cure diseases, sans any drugs or medicine.
Q: How do you bring about this awareness?
A: Firstly, by maintaining a patient to patient contact, I build a rapport with them. This helps them in allying all their fears, thus reposing their faith in the doctor and the treatment, which is of prime importance in the cure of any disease secondly, I conduct talks and lectures, organise seminars time io time in co-ordination with various social and cultural organisations I have also prepared a documentary of my treatments and I arrange for public viewing of these films. I also give talks on radios and television, besides holding press conferences.
Q: Did you, at any time, face opposition from local allopathic doctors?
A: First of all, one has to understand that though the Indian medical fraternity has not awarded recognition to acupuncture. It has been duly recognised by World Health Organisation (WHO) which is the apex body of the medical society. Inspite of this, I did face tremendous opposition from the local medical professionals. There was a lot of criticism against me and I was made an object of ridicule and mockery. Doctors, in an attempt to keep patients away from me, started inculcating fears in the minds of the public that prickling of needles cases AIDS and other diseases, etc. People generally find to take their doctors words as gospel truth and ultimately shun away from taking acupuncture treatment.
Q: What is your answer to your critics who say that prickling of needles may cause AIDS? How do you sterilise the needles?
A: Well my method of sterilisation is completely safe. We have formalin chambers which effectively kill the viruses. Formalin chambers are well known sterilisers used in the hospitals at Mumbai, and lately they have procured those at Goa Medical College also. Formalin tablets are kept in the Formalin chambers overnight and within eight hours, the whole process of sterilisation gets completed so you see, it’s absolutely safe and completely reliable.
Q: Can Acupuncture therapy cure genetic disorders?
A: To a large extent, yes, I’ve treated patients suffering from hereditary diseases like diabetes and asthma with dramatic results. My father, a diabetic attaint, got completely cured within one and a half year of acupuncture treatment.
Q: How many cases of paralysis have you treated and with what results?
A: Invariably, at every camp I conduct. I have to attend to at least 30% paralytic patients. If these patients come to me soon after they suffer paralysis stroke, they get completely and with acupuncture therapy within 5-6 months, as it depends on body responses.
Q: How do you arrive at the diagnosis of a patient?
A: Well, you see, I don’t use stethoscope. Doctors use stethoscope mainly to create a “psychological effect” in the minds of the patient. I adopt pulse examination method and the patients family history while arriving at the diagnosis. I examine 12 different kinds of pulses of every patients, through which I come to know which channels of the body have excess or deficient supply of energy. And accordingly I treat my patients. However, I strongly advice my patients to take the full course of my treatment for complete cure stopping the treatment midway would be of no use though it has no harmful effects. Besides acupuncture doesn’t provide temporary relief as no drugs or medicines are utilised in this therapy.
Q: It is an unwritten rule that medical services should not be advertised, since it is a noble profession. Don’t you feel that your method of releasing advertisements is against this norm?
A: Well… I don’t see violation of any medical ethics or norms on my part. You see, whenever a new science, people should be made aware if it – it’s principles working results benefits etc. If there are no advertisements no publicity, people would remain in the dark suffer silently despite there being a treatment within their easy reach. It is only for this reason that I am advertising my services… only for the benefit of my fellow beings. I don’t have any selfish interests in mind. I even conduct free medical camps for the benefit of the poor and the needy. It is by the grace of the Divine that I have mastered this skill.
Q: You claim to have achieve marvellous results through your own discovered special points. How did you master this skill? What is your secret of success?
A: I attribute the credit for my success to Lord Sai Baba. I am an ardent devotee of Sai Baba and it is because of this blessings I am what I am today while I treat my patients, I often get directions from nowhere to prickle needles at some specific points and when I stimulate these newly discovered points, the patients immediately gets some relief. I often have dreams in my sleep, wherein I discover a combination of points are stimulated, the patients get considerable relief and gradually get cured. The points that I stimulate for the treatment of spondylosis is may own person when I was suffering from this disease. It’s all God’s grace 3 to 4 years ago, I was suffering from glaucoma (eye disease) and high blood pressure. After proper diagnosis, I found that my liver is directly related to the eye. And once I started treating for the liver, I got completely cured. No Glaucoma, no high blood pressure, nothing. But mind you, chronic diseases can be cured by acupuncture, only if they are brought to my notice immediately after detection. It is by the grace of Lord Sai Baba alone that I’ve mastered this skill. Sai Baba always used to alleviate the sufferings of the sick. I am following God’s directions.