Sunday, March 9, 2014

Origins of Acupuncture in America

Description: 1971 provided the year acupuncture gained a foundation in the American medical system.  Cardiologist, Dr. E. Grey Dimond, carried this message despite formidable obstacles.  We are honored to present his story today.

How did acupuncture become main stream in America?  

We as acupuncturists are usually taught and told the story of how James Reston, journalist from the New York Times, while in China with Henry Kissinger on a diplomatic  endeavor, fell ill with acute appendicitis.  James had the usual appendectomy but then was treated post-op with acupuncture.  He published his story on July 26th, 1971.

New York Times July 26, 1971 Page2

Here is the story we are not told about:  

Dr. E. Grey Dimond was one of the first American physicians to visit Red China since the communist revolution in 1949.  He found himself with this unique opportunity with the aid of Edgar Snow (author of Red Star Over China).  They had met previously in 1965 at a world peace conference.

Edgar Snow was eager to get an American physician over to China to view and witness their advances in acupuncture anesthesia, birth control measures, and limb reimplantation.

In 1971 that time came to fruition.  The attendees of this trip would be Dr. E Grey Dimond, Dr. Paul Dudley White (Father of Cardiology), and their wives.

When Dr. Dimond returned he began immediately to write papers about his eye witness account of acupuncture anesthesia.  He first published an article for The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Dec 6th 1971.  Titled: Acupuncture Anesthesia - Western Medicine and ChineseTraditional Medicine

Dr. E. Grey Dimond

He published a book based off his diary that he wrote during his trip to China called More than Herbs and Acupuncture.
Dr. E Grey Dimond
Diary Entry September 1971

Dr. Dimond then submitted a 50 slide presentation about Acupuncture Anesthesia to the American College of Cardiology accompanied with tape recording.

Dr. E Grey Dimond
50 Slide Presentation to the American College of Cardiology

Open Heart Surgery with Acupuncture Anesthesia
Drinking Tea
Taken by Dr. Dimond
Dr. E Grey Dimond
New England Journal of Medicine 1965
E. Grey Dimond, M.D.

Special thanks to Nancy K. Hill.  Author of A Very Private Public Citizen: The Life of Grenville Clark", and currently in the works on writting Dr. E. Grey Dimond's Biography.  She is Administrator of the Diastole Center.

Special thanks to Robert M. Farnsworth.  Author of Vagabond to Journalist: Edgar Snow in Asia, and Edgar Snow's Journey South of the Clouds, pertaining to Edgar Snow.  He has also authored the following books.....

  • Richard Wright, Impressions and Perspectives (co-edited with David Ray), University of Michigan Press, 1973.
  • Edited with afterword, Melvin B. Tolson's A Gallery of Harlem Portraits, University of Missouri Press, 1982.
  • Edited with introduction, Caviar and Cabbage: Selected Columns by Melvin B. Tolson from the Washington Tribune, 1937-1944University of Missouri Press, 1982.
  • Melvin B. Tolson, 1898-1966: Plain Talk and Poetic Prophecy, University of Missouri Press, 1984.
  • Edited with commentary, Edgar Snow's Journey South of the Clouds, University of Missouri Press, 1991.
  • From Vagabond to Journalist: Edgar Snow in Asia, 1928-1940. University of Missouri Press, 1996.

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