Complementing modern medicine
Though proponents of the integrative trend argue that adding alternative treatments to traditional medicine could reduce healthcare costs overall by lessening pain and increasing compliance, insurance companies approve few treatments.
Most patients, including Ricci, pay out of pocket. Ricci pays US$50 (RM160) for each one-hour acupuncture session.
Dr Frank Stone, an internist and paediatrician at Florida Hospital, understands the resistance among some of his colleagues.
“We like to think we’re scientists and can prove what works, but not everything in life lends itself to that approach.”
Whether it makes sense scientifically isn’t really relevant if it helps, said Stone, who doesn’t prescribe alternative therapies himself.
“Modern medicine often ignores the connection between mind and body,” Stone said.
“If the brain thinks it’s helping, then the body has a related response. If people believe it will make a difference, it makes a difference.” — The Orlando Sentinel/ McClatchy-Tribune Information Services