The TCMCR has opted for the social enterprise model, as this provides the structure to be purpose driven, not just to be profit focused. As part of the requirements of being a social enterprise, we are proudly donating half of our profits to the Acupuncture Evidence Project, a not-for-profit organisation that curates and disseminates quality acupuncture research.
The social enterprise model was chosen over the not-for-profit approach as it is easier to set up and nimbler. We may however change to the not-for-profit model later.
Traditional Chinese medicine appears to be undeservedly under attack.
Around 2016, Chinese medicine’s Wikipedia entry was altered to state the therapy was pseudoscience (Wikipedia 2021), despite there being high quality, peer reviewed published evidence that it is anything but, and an effective therapy.
Peer reviewed published evidence such as (MacPherson 2013, Vickers 2018) that confirms acupunctures effectiveness has even caused Britain’s prestigious National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines to recommend acupuncture over opioids for managing chronic back pain (BAC 2021).
This sort of information should be present in acupuncture’s Wikipedia entry, but inexplicably it is absent.
Attempts to edit the Wikipedia article back to an evidence-based entry have been met with highly qualified academics being blocked, including Doctor Hopper Koppelman. Even articles criticising Wikipedia on their stance in this area have had no effect (Bonazzo 2017) (Barnett 2018).
Why isn’t the TCMCR hosted within a publicly funded university?
The short answer: due to the precariousness of TCM’s position in this academic environment.
Publicly funded university Traditional Chinese medicine courses are closing all over the world. Apparently, there is not a single TCM course being offered in Britain now and it appears the same will gradually happen in Australia.
The prestigious TCM course at UTS closed last year after approximately 30 years of existence. This was despite being profitable and growing. The current author saw the internal report assessing the course which confirmed these facts. Media were given potted press releases which misquoted and cherry-picked material from the report. There was even a sensational conviction of fraud by the Dean overseeing the TCM course closure (Mitchell 2021) which did not result in a reassessment of the decision to close the course.
This is despite the NICE guideline review and the quality supporting research.
Much more could be written, but enough has been said to make the general point.
The way forward.
I believe that one way to fight these trends is to provide a high-quality research resource outside of but accessible the university system, which is not vulnerable to closure due to lobbying by our adversaries.
This is one of the primary reasons the TCMCR was conceived of and developed.
I hope some of you who read this feel the same way and support this project.
BAC (2021). NICE guideline for chronic pain: painkillers out, acupuncture in., British Acupuncture Council.
Barnett, D. (2018). Can we trust Wikipedia? 1.4 billion people can’t be wrong. Independent. Britain.
Bonazzo (2017). There’s a Major War Brewing Over the Acupuncture Wikipedia Page. Observer.
MacPherson, H., Maschino, A. C., Lewith, G., Foster, N. E., Will, C., Vickers, A. J. (2013). “Characteristics of Acupuncture Treatment Associated with Outcome: An Individual Patient Meta-Analysis of 17,922 Patients with Chronic Pain in Randomised Controlled Trials.” PLOS One 8(10): e77438.
Mitchell, G. (2021). Former UTS professor found guilty of sending herself threatening letters. Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney.
Vickers, A. J. V., E.A. Lewith, G. MacPherson, H. Foster, N.E. Sherman, K.J. Irinich, D. Witt, C. Linde, K. (2018). “Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Data Meta-Analysis.” American Pain Society 19(5): 455-474.
Wikipedia (2021). Acupuncture