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July 31, 1971 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1971-07-31

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Page Six


Saturday, July 31, 1971

Page Six THE MICHiGAN DAILY Saturday, July 31, 1971

Offering REAL price reductions that
will not be repeated in 1971-START-
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o z
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Acupuncture in China

Dispatch News Service International
PEKING - Lying flat on her
back on the operating table in
the sunlight of a fine May
morning . the young Chinese
woman smiled up at us as the
surgeon deftly sliced into her
abdomen. It was hard to keep
in mind that the only anesthe-
tic was a set of four long, thin
needles we had seen inserted
into the calves of her legs a
half hour before.
Acupuncture - piercing the
body with needles at specified
points - has been used in
China for many hundreds of
years. Until recently. the very
large body of traditional medi-
cal lore related only to treat-
ment of minor ailments such as
headache, insomnia, colds,
backache and so on. But now
the Chinese are developing new
uses for acupuncture, a m on g
them anesthesia.
We were visiting Number 3
Affiliated Hospital of Peking
Medical College, a large grey
building in the undistinguished
post-war Soviet style located in
the pleasantly wooded univer-
sity quarter on the northwest
outskirts of Peking. Dressed in
surgical caps, gowns, masks
and slippers, we accompanied
Dr. Chu Mien-yu, the y o u n g-
looking chief of surgery, a n d
members of his staff back and
forth among four of the hospi-
tal's eight operating rooms.
Four major operations were
underway with acupuncture as
the only anesthetic; the remov-
al of part of the stomach (duo-
denal ulcer), a hernia, excision
of a thyroid tumor, and remov-
al of an ovarian cyst. W it h
typical Chinese politeness, t h e
staff awaited our arrived be-
fore beginning, and paused
briefly several times during the
operations for our benefit.
The thin needles, about 2 to
Want to be in one?
If you are in one or you want
to join a CR Group, call BARB
or CLAIRE at 662-4431, ext.

3 inches long for these opera-
tions, were thrust up to their
handles into the body at spots
marked with mercurochrome,
and a report of numbness by
the patient in each case indi-
cated successful specific points.
The three abdominal operations
used sets of needles at different
places in the legs, with t h e
hernia requiring an additional
needle on either side of the in-
cision. The thyroid operation
used needles in the back of the
hands and in the neck.
Needles are traditionally ro-
tated by hand after being set.
Here the needles were vibrated
electrically by connection to a
small portable 5 volt, 0.5 milli-
amp generator. The current
seems to play some role in anes-
thesia, since the thyroid opera-
tion also used a pair of elec-
trodes taped directly to t h e
chest. Anesthesia was achieved
after 20 minutes, whereupon
the surgeons started operating.
We were told that the anes-
thesia can last for as long as 9
The four surgeons - b o t h
men and women - and their
teams seemed to us fast, com-
petent and professional. The
spacious, white-tiled operating
rooms smelling of antiseptic
and the adjacent scrub ante-
rooms could have been any-
where, were it not for the
photograph of Mao Tse-tung
and the slogans painted on the
all of each, the Chinese char-
acters embroidered on several
of the surgical gowns, and the
identification plate indicating
Chinese manufacture on every
piece of equipment.
Each room had a standard
anesthesia apparatus in t he
corner, but in none of the four
cases was the machine connect-
ed and ready for use.
All four patients were con-
scious throughout the opera-
tions, and three of them were
relaxed and cheerful. The thy-
roid patient insisted on sitting
up to greet the foreign guests
before the needles were insert-
ed, and the duodenal ulcer pa-
tient sipped tea as the incis-
ion was being made and smiled
for the camera. When the ovar-
ian cyst - a large, grey mass
the size of a baseball - was
removed, the 27-year-old wo-
man patient asked to look at it;
her pulse remained constant at
88, and her blood pressure at
110,80, throughout the opera-
tion. Only the hernia patient

was uneasy, clutching a copy
of the red book containing
Quotations from Chairman Mao
Tse-tung to his breast f or
After the operations, Kuo Fa-
shang, Chairman of the hospit-
al's Revolutionary Committee
and member of the Army, and
other staff members welcomed
us in a reception room beneath
a large portrait of Chairman
Mao. One of Mao's aphorisms
posted on the wall seemed par-
ticularly apt: "Chinese medi-
cine and pharmacology are a
great treasure house; effort
should be made to exploit them
and elevate them to a high lev-
The more than 3000 opera-
tions done under acupuncture
anesthesia in this hospital since
its founding in 1958 include re-
moval of eyeball, lung, spleen
and amputation of limbs. "Bas-
ed on Chairman Mao's saying,
'dare to think, dare to act,"
Kuo told us, "the doctors in
this hospital have created new
applications of acupuncture by
experimenting on their own
New points of insertion have
more than doubled the tradi-
tional 380 points, and the opti-
mal length and number of
needle sfor each application has
been determined - for i n -
stance, for removing a lung one
needle works better than sev-
The insertion points are found
empirically, since anatomical
research in progress has not
yet revealed the physiological
basis for anesthesia. Some
points are located at a junc-
tion of nerve and muscle, but
others are not.
This use of acupuncture is
still considered experimental,
and has only partly replaced
traditional anesthesia so far.
"The advantages of acupunc-
ture," Dr. Chu said, "are that
the patient can communicate
with the doctor during the oper-
ation, and that complicated
equipment is not needed. Also
there are none of the complica-
tions of chemical anesthesia, so
the patients recover more quick-
ly, and the technique is very
safe, especially for old a n d
weak patients."
The hospital staff seemed
very receptive to our suggestion
that American doctors visit
China to study acupuncture.




ARM Michigan Film Society

Ecumenical Campus Center

July 31 August 1
Janus Films AGAIN failed to deliver the print of Block
Orhpeus for Wednesday's show. The result:
a fantastic dollar double-bill
Marcel Camus' 7:30, 11:00
Black Orpheus
Brilliant color enactment of the classic myth by a Black
cast in the Rio slums at Carnival time.
"Dazzling !"-Cue "The music, the movement,
the storm of color."-N.Y. Times
Roman Polanski's 9:15
Knife inthe-W. Water
The film that established Polanski, at 24, as a first-
ranking international director.
"Flawless! A brilliantly coherent corssword puzzle. A
brilliant performance all around."-Newsweek
1st Baptist Church
502 E. Huron off State
$1 contribution free coffee

August 3
Elia Kazan s
1Viva Zapata!
MarIon Brando
Jean Peters
S Anthony Quinn
SAcademy-award-winning drama
iof great Voqui Indian leader
of 1911 Mexican Revolution
1 st Presbyterian
1 Church
1432 washtenaw
off South U.
August 7
Louis Malle's
eThe 0Lovers
Jeanne Moreau
"Mahe has created the
Scinema's first night of love"
--Frncois Truffaut
11st Bapist Church

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