Promoting Health Through Acupuncture – Lessons learnt from the pharmaceutical industry and what can we do next?

שפת הרצאה: אנגלית

ההרצאה מתאימה לכל הרמות

We live in a Western society where the large food and pharmaceutical industry essentially dictate what we consume and how we treat/are being treated for diseases. Pharmaceutical companies have been using various methods to increase awareness to diseases and drugs and create demand for their drugs. These include:

  • Direct & Indirect Physician Training
  • Direct to consumer (patients and families) education
  • Lobbying to Stakeholders, including insurance companies, governing associations, lawmakers etc)

In fact, in 2013 pharma companies spent an estimated $27 Billion USD on marketing in the US only. These include investment in face-to-face detailing, educational & promotional meetings, Continuing Medical Education (CME), mailings, public relations including journal, web and direct-to-consumer ads via social media, awareness campaigns (World “X” Disease Day), grants to Health Advocacy Organizations (HAO) and others.


So what can we learn from this?

Acupuncturists tend to be purists, more ethical and less at ease with the word “marketing”. To that we should add the limited budgets. However, existing in a Western society means that to create awareness about the wonders of our profession, we find it helpful to understand the strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies and ethically use these to our advantage.

In this lecture we will be looking at some of the key strategies and tactics we can adopt to create more positive awareness of our profession by for example, optimizing our use of the different social media channels. We will explore how individuals and organizations can utilize terminology and language from TCM, biomedicine, and from research and evidence, in order to establish a solid communication with other practitioners, the public, and healthcare policymakers.

Sandro Grace –

Originally from Portugal, Sandro Graca is a graduate of the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. After completing his Licentiate in TCM, he pursued postgraduate studies in Chinese herbal medicine, tui na massage, and medical qi gong in colleges in Ireland, UK, and China at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. 

His journey into the specialized fields of acupuncture for gynaecology, endocrinology, fertility and pregnancy started by studying with Jani White and continued with other world renowned experts such as Jane Lyttleton, Randine Lewis, Debra Betts, and Sarah Budd. 

Sandro is a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine and part of the team of acupuncturists working at Sims IVF – the biggest Fertility and IVF Clinic in Dublin, Ireland. 

As a Board Member of Evidence Based Acupuncture, Sandro is an avid speaker and promoter for research and evidence. He is part of the teaching staff at the Northern College of Acupuncture for their MSc programme and currently sits on the Board of the Obstetrical Acupuncture Association.


Dr. Gil Barzilay –

Gil has a Diploma in Chinese Medicine (Dipl. CM, I.A.TCM) with distinction from Broshim College of Integrative Medicine, where he studied both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. In addition, he completed 1-year "Chinese & Macrobiotics Nutrition (TEF Method)" with Eyal Shpringer and 2-years “Kiiko Matsumoto-Style Japanese Acupuncture”.

Gil works in "Refuot", Tel Aviv, Israel’s leading Complementary Alternative Medicine clinic. He is an Acupuncture Studies Assistant and teaches “Research in Chinese Medicine" for 3rd and 4th Year students in Broshim, as well as abroad in Denmark, Poland, Ireland, Finland, USA, Austria and Germany thus far. Gil is part of the International Community of Chinese Medicine (ICCM) and Evidence Based Acupuncture (EBA). He writes regularly research reviews & newsletters (Facebook: drgiltcm). 

Gil has a B.Sc (Honors) from Imperial College, University of London, a Ph.D from Oxford University in Cancer Research and a European Medical Biology Organization (EMBO) Post-Doctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute. He has 11 peer-reviewed publications in leading medical journals.

  1. Learn how other healthcare industries promote awareness, access and demand to their products
  2. Understand public perception of acupuncture and acupuncturists in order to find common ground to effectively reach our audience with powerful messages and advance our profession into first line usage, where appropriate
  3. Receive examples and take home tips
  4. Create a strategy for optimizing our use of the different social media channels so we can put this new knowledge into action

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