So, I always thought that acupuncture worked best when used in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine. I always thought that Chinese herbal medicine worked best when use with acupuncture. This was so much the case that even though some of my classmates vowed they would never use Chinese herbs in their practice and thus shouldn't have to learn all bazillion of them (this might be a slight exaggeration on my part of how many herbs we had to learn), I struggled and plodded along learning all of the flavors, temperatures and actions of all those darned herbs.
Why did I punish myself so? Because in my own experiences as a health sufferer, I found that while each worked alone, I REALLY liked the results that I got when I was treated by both methods. Sure, acupuncture helped. Yeah, Chinese herbs made a difference. But put them together and it was incredible! (Okay, so the treatment experience wasn't always pleasurable - the needles kinda hurt going in and the herbs are sometimes hard to get down, but it is SO worth those temporary inconveniences!)
Because of these beliefs, I was super excited to find in my e-mail box this morning a letter from an old classmate about a study that was recently published (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19001827?ordinalpos=15&itool=Email.EmailReport.Pubmed_ReportSelector.Pubmed_RVDocSum) showing that there seems to be some proof that acupuncture helps the absorption of Huang Qin (pronounced wong cheen)! How cool is that? The ancient Chinese healers have known for millenia that these two modalities compliment each other beautifully!
I'm sure as research continues, science will find that this is true not just with Huang Qin, but with many, if not all, of the herbs used in the Chinese formulary!