Peaceful Mountain Acupuncture

A weekly blog about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States

This blog is going to be, primarily a venue for me to express my thoughts about Life and the complexities of the physical plane. My story is simple, I am an easy going individual and a moderate recluse. I am comfortable walking or sitting, talking or being silent. I am always seeking new friends and acquaintenances. I tend to look deeply and question myself about the lesson behind the experience. If you like what you read, please leave me a note, if you have a blog please leave me a link so I can read your writing as well. Thanks

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Hello again,
It has been a very long time since I wrote anything for my Blog. But it has been an interesting and challenging time. As usual with my blog I will not go into my personal saga other than to say it has been eventful, to say the least.

About a month ago I saw an excellent documentary on the Cuban medical system. The movie is called "!Salud!" You can find a link to it above and at

I was moved by several parts of the movie and will try to express some of that to you now. I find it to "speak volumes" when a small and impoverished country such as Cuba can create, sustain and improve a medical system such as this. It is an accepted fact (when one steps aside from the political bias that surrounds US/Cuba relations) that Cuba has a medical system that is one of , if not THE best in the world.

When watching the movie I saw a thread that links their medical system to its effectiveness, this link was a historical part of Chinese medicine as well, though I am not sure it is as strong there now. The link I am referring to is having the doctors living in the community they serve where they can be accessed anytime. I also saw how the doctors and interns have a deep respect and concern for the patients they are treating.

This appreciation and respect comes from where these people came from, the Cuban medical schools offer full scholarships to impoverished minorities and most of their students tend to be from that social strata. The 'payment' for the six-year program is to return to serve in a medically under-served community for at least one year. By teaching minorities from the same socio-economic class they are comfortable living in the bario's or "projects" and tend not to feel that their patients are any different than they are. Compare that perspective to a US doctor that makes well over $150K per year and has well over $200K in debt from the student loans necessary to get through school. The doctor's in this documentary got into medicine because they truly care about their patients. While this is true, in degree, for many of our doctors because of the way oour health care system is operated at this time they cannot remain in that mindset for long. It does not pay, or in my opinion it becomes a matter of "profit over people."

Another very critical piece of their system is the in-depth intake the doctor/interns do so that they can develop a comprehensive perspective/appreciation of the entire family unit and see the stresses that family is dealing with and how they are choosing to deal with those stresses. Thia allows the doctors to be aware of the potential imbalances and help the family determine other ways of dealing with them if it is going to have a negative effect on their health. In turn that reduces the amount of health care the family needs and saves the government money overall. Lots of money. As you can well imagine a large part of every countries, or every individuals health care expenses are incured in treating illnesses that could have been avoided with much much more gentle measures if they had been assesed sooner.

As I have written about before I truly believe that our country is facing a critical junture in regards to health care. I want to create an ongoing, evolving discussion about ways to manage this situation, before it becomes more critical. In the same way that the intake a well trained acupuncturist develops a comprehensive "picture" of an individual's health we need to do the work necessary to accurately evaluate our values and see to what degree does health care fit into our values.

I will write more and I have a few more topics on the horizon...


Blogger Aud the Angel said...

Mike, I don't know what incentives were given in the system in place in Greece, but I am aware that the Greek government assures medical care to people in small villages by having newly accredited doctors serving a certain amount of time in a specified village. New Mexico does a certain amount of that, in that the Presbyterian medical community places doctors in remote areas of NM. Of course, a great deal more is needed.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:54 PM  

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