Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice

The Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA) offers two research courses. The master’s level course, Research Design, is foundational for accurately interpreting and evaluating research. This basic course introduces students to the aspects of research design that impact the reliability of research. The doctoral-level course, Evidence-Based Practice (EBP), requires students to choose a particular disorder or disease, write a literature review, and an evaluation of Western and Eastern treatment approaches to the topic using knowledge gained in Research Design.  Students also interview a current practitioner about treatment for the disorder they have chosen.

Over the years, the student EBP research papers have addressed a wide spectrum of medical issues, ranging from airborne allergies and knee pain to rarer and more debilitating diseases like Lyme disease, shingles, migraine headaches, asthma, and hypertension. Students have also researched dysmenorrhea, infertility, and the efficacy of acupuncture in hospice and palliative care settings.

Because ancient Chinese doctors were treating disorders and diseases long before Western medicine, the diagnoses in Traditional Chinese medicine use different words to describe symptoms and different names for the disorders.

Today we have access to both, Western medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine. Each approach can offer complementary treatment strategies for serious illnesses or injuries. PIMHA students learn to read and evaluate research in both approaches to most effectively integrate the two traditions, and to implement empirically-based acupuncture treatment.

Written By: Gail Rekers

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