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The elder statesman of acupuncture
Jacques MoraMarco is one of America's first licensed acupuncturists.
September 14th, 2012
09:38 AM ET

The elder statesman of acupuncture

By Jim Roope, CNN

(CNN) – Acupuncture history is about to be made for a second time in California.

Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign two bills that would, for the first time in US history,  put acupuncture in the list of essential health benefits.

That means health insurance providers would have to pay for acupuncture treatments like they pay for x-rays or flu shots.

[:46] “I’ve personally seen the evolution of this profession in California and basically in the United States,”said Jacques MoraMarco, acupuncture practitioner and Dean of Emperor’s College in Santa Monica.

In 1976, then Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that legalized the practice of acupuncture. MoraMarco was among those who took the first licensing test 35 years ago.

Before 1976, MoraMarco said acupuncturists practiced illegally.

Elvis Presley, who studied with the same Martial Arts teachers as MoraMarco, received acupuncture treatment for an injured ankle.

Bonanza’s Lorne Green also received clandestine acupuncture treatments from the same acupuncturist that treated Elvis.

[2:29] “…every so often he would have to be bailed out and Lorne Green would go and bail him out,” MoraMarco said. “He was arrested for practicing medical procedure without a license.”

Today acupuncture is integrated in many Western medicine facilities.

What are your thoughts on the integration of Eastern and Western Medicine? Listen to the complete story above and join the conversation below.

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  1. blog, Medicine, health, diet, Блог, Медицина, Здоровье, Красота

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    September 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Marie Claire Dilks,
    I see your report and raise you one by somebody who actually understands the complex issues of meta analysis
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/an-acupuncture-meta-analysis/

    September 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary Claire Dilks

    Open your minds!!! More and more scientific studies are proving the benefits of acupuncture beyond placebo. I could cite many sources, but here is the most recent.
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/acupuncture-provides-true-pain-relief-in-study/

    The treatments are cost effective when you take into account cost of acupuncture vs. standard western treatment- long term drug therapy, surgical procedures, short acting cortisone shots, excess diagnostic testing, etc. . . not to mention the risks of such procedures and drugs (and drugs to counter the side effects of drugs).

    The addition of eastern medicine is "genuine high quality medical care." The best medicine combines and respects the strengths of each.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anna

    As a native Californian, I'm embarrassed. Acupuncture has no basis in natural laws, no possible biological mechanism by which it could work, and has been shown time and time again in well-designed studies not to have any benefit beyond placebo. This is established medical consensus, and to pretend otherwise is to delude oneself. I would hate to pay into an insurance plan that wasted money in such a frivolous and anti-science manner.

    September 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Anna,
      You say that acupuncture has no basis in natural law. WHAT?? Its whole premise is based on the principles of nature!!! Also as a native Californian, I am embarrassed by people such as you that are willing to consider a closed-minded medical system that supports over-medication of its patients as "health care".

      September 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. A concerned Canadian

    Please, my American friends, start requiring your statesmen to have at least SOME basic knowledge of science, especially when applied to people (and, less so, to their wallets). You set the example which our leaders follow; I know it's a burden to bear, but science is under attack here. too – it seems to be the only way our P.M. can stay on the right side of our biggest trade partner!

    Believe it or not, most of the free world still looks to you for guidance and leadership – try not to let us down, k?

    September 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jenny Lassi

    I have been treated with acupuncture for various pain relief applications from back pain, neck pain, etc with great results. Not all practitioners are created equally as with any profession. I've seen good where I have achieved results and I've received some with no affect (usually from someone who does acupuncture who offer it as a value add to their normal practice like a chiropractor). Of course there are skeptics and of course they are usually the people who are more outspoken on these types of forums. If you think it's "hocus pocus" then don't get it. For those who do get pain relief from it, should have that treatment option available to them with their health insurance provider.

    September 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I have no problem with people subjecting themselves to acupuncture. I have a problem with paying for it by means of taxes or higher insurance premiums when there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the proposition that acupuncture is anything but a fancy placebo effect.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skyhawk

      Tell you what- I think that bathing in silver ingots relieves pain. Do you want to pay higher premiums so everyone can get this treatment?
      Acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, faith healing, and bathing in silver ingots all have the same amount of scientific evidence of their efficacy.
      Let's pay for them ALL!!!

      September 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Leo

    What a waste of money. Now, they're spending money on a HOAX that has NO medicinal benefit beyond that of a placebo, when that money could go to pay for real medical treatment.

    September 17, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Too sane for Jerry

    There are no studies which show any benefit above placebo for acupuncture although there are reports of serious injuries including death. It is not ancient chinese medicine and dates to the 1930's when Mao used it as a cheap healthcare for the masses. It did not cure then either but it was cheap. Before that it had been banned in China. Brown needs to stay in politics and leave medicine to science.

    September 17, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. jimroopecnn

    Have you ever undergone an acupuncture treatment? What are your thoughts on Eastern medicine and its acceptance in a Western medicine society?

    September 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      As Tim Michin points out, when there is something that is discovered to work in "alternative medicine" it ceases to be "alternative". "Alternative medicine" is just the medicine that ends up having no evidence.

      Modern pharmacology has spent much time trying to figure out which of the traditional medicine cures have evidence of efficacy and which are bunk. People who advocate for "holistic", "alternative", or "non-Western" medicine are simple abandoning this standard. They should be free to do so on their own, but this should not be a part of society's commitment to genuine and high-quality medical care. Wasting the collective purse on medicines that have not been shown to work is as irresponsible as throwing money away.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |