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Complementary medicine is the future

I read with interest the views of Florence Durrant and Dr Andrew Hillam on complementary therapies (Letters, 12 July).

I did not have the good fortune to read Dr Michael Dixon's piece (Opinion, 7 June). I am a singlehanded GP who got disillusioned with Western medicine's approach to bread-and-butter problems like low back pain and other musculoskeletal pains.

I have therefore studied and practised reflexology, hypnosis and acupuncture.

I recently completed a two-year diploma in Chinese medicine which involved Chinese pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis and treatment with acupuncture, massage and herbs. I would like to make the following observations.

• Just because you're qualified in Western medicine does not mean you should look down on complementary therapies.

• Always approach these therapies with humility and open mindedness.

• Don't be too dogmatic about evidence-based medicine.

It is well to remember that most of these therapies have been around for many centuries and have brought solace to millions of sufferers for a wide spectrum of diseases.

In my own experience, patients with common conditions such as backache, joint pains, hay fever, migraine, sinusitis and anxiety have responded extremely well.

It is heartening to note that there are medical students from centres of excellence who now follow Chinese medicine/ acupuncture courses in recognised institutions such as the Chinese Medical Institute and Register. Complementary therapies are on the march.

Dr C Thenuwara, Bexley, Kent

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