Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Routine Treatments

The piece below is an exert from a longer article, "Prescription: acupuncture." The description of the treatment is something I have used before on Fibromyalgia patients, but do not like doing as a typical treatment. I suppose I am a bread and butter practitioner - I do an assessment, put needles in point by point and obtain Qi, manipulate the needles, let the patient have some relaxation time, then take them out. There may be some cupping, Tui Na, or other procedures performed, but that is the gist.

I am not a fan of poking people more than necessary. Repeated insertion in the same point, especially if it is the same needle, does not sit well with me. I once read a Bob Flaws comment that discussed putting in the needle, getting Qi, manipulating the Qi, then withdrawing the needle and moving onto the next point. I tried it. I didn't like it. Neither did my patients. Personally, I enjoy the rest I get when the needles are in and I can imagine the flow of Qi and the rebalancing energetics. Many of my patients comment it is one of the few moments of solitude they get all week and that it is a chance to relax and take a quality cat nap. I guess I am old fashioned in my routine, but when you have 3000 years of tradition behind you, old fashioned may not be such a bad thing.

One session

Evelyn Olson has suffered from low back pain for years.She uses her walker to maneuver into a treatment room at Johnson Chiropractic and Acupuncture and is helped onto an electronic tilt table. The table is lowered backward into position. The lights are dim, the room is warm and soothing music floats on the air.

Johnson swabs various spots scattered over Olson's ears, head and face with alcohol using gloved hands.Johnson unwraps a tiny sterilized needle and gently inserts it into a spot on

Olson's ear, tapping the needle softly. He repeats the procedure 10 times.Olson, 75, rests quietly for several minutes, then the needles are removed and thrown away. She rolls on her stomach, and Johnson repeats the procedure across her back.

Western methods of treatment weren't relieving Olson's pain. "My internal medicine doctor encouraged me to start" acupuncture, she says.After nine months of treatments, her pain has improved and she has more energy.

"My pain is better but not gone. Acupuncture helps the body heal itself," Olson says.


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