Thursday, 12 November 2015

Thanks for very helpful reply from the Osteopathic registrar.

Today, I received a reply to may earlier post from the Registrar of the Osteopathic NZ,  which was actually very helpful. 

Reflecting on this - networking and exchange of views and information like this, is a powerful and effective method to protect ourselves, our osteopathic profession here in NZ, and also the Acupuncture profession, which deserves our respect also.

Forgive me if I was being a little excessive or melodramatic in my earlier post - but only saying things that I felt needed to be said.

Without realising osteopath-Traditional Chinese Medicine trained (TCM) trained acupucturists have allowed themselves to be backed into a corner.  And this is where they find themselves.  I think a worthy area for discussion.

Both the registrar and chairperson of the Osteopathic Council NZ seem very nice people to deal with. Genuinely helpful. The former chair of the osteopathic council as some of you might remember was an altogether different character - and it is his legacy that we osteopaths and acupuncturists now all have to live with. 

Yes, he may have made some contribution to the osteopathic profession here in NZ,  but almost certainly at the expense of the acupuncture profession here in NZ.  Don't worry, S and I are old friends, and still talking to each other (well. I hope so anyway) as well as being paradigm rivals.  We both went to the London School of Osteopathy together, and go back a long way together. S will probably find this all quite stimulating.  Well done, mate.

Unfortunately, I cannot forward the contents of the osteopathic registrar's email to me to anyone, or divulge it's contents here in any detail - without his permission. But I can interpret the gist of his response and share it here:

What the osteopathic registrar pointed out in his email is that TCM acupuncture is not, and cannot be within the osteopathic scope of practice.  Fair enough.  

Western medical acupuncture (WMA) can be, of course within the scope (and that was always the intention), but Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) acupuncture can never be.

So the best, or most liberal possible interpretation of the osteopathic registrar's comments is that this does not necessarily mean that one cannot necessarily include any TCM during an osteopathic treatment (as it's not in the osteopathic scope)  -  it just that practically speaking one would have a hard time explaining to most patients the above distinction, and were one to do some TCM acupuncture at the same time, within (or just before or just after) an osteopathic treatment, this theoretical distinction would get very messy.

One would have to stop during a treatment (perhaps several times) then asking if the patient wanted any TCM acupuncture, say to them something like: ''Well, now I'm not doing Osteopathy anymore, and we can do some Acupuncture now. Is that OK with you?'

And many patients might get a bit confused perhaps at that point - as perhaps some of you are trying to follow this rather slippery distinction.

So essentially what the Osteopathic Council have now done is place severe practical restrictions on how osteopath-TCM trained acupuncturists can work on a day to day basis.

In effect, what they are almost doing in a draconian way is forcing us to register in the Western Medical Acupuncture scope, as osteopaths. Or risk messy infringement if we mix and match our treatments, as most of us do most of the time.

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