Sunday, June 18, 2006

Beneath the Surface

I have a standard speech I give clients that see me for acupuncture treatments. I provide my condensed version of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, theory an explanation of Qi and what it is suppose to feel like, the type of needles I use and how they are disposed of, and expectation of treatment success. While most practitioners have their own routine, I believe it is always helpful to see how others describe the basics.

Acupuncture can relieve pain and abate the symptoms of illnesses, proponents say.

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/18/06BY BOBBI SEIDELSTAFF WRITER

For a long time, Stefanie Hay was in constant pain any time she tried to eat.
The Aberdeen teen, 18, had been to numerous medical doctors, her gall bladder had been removed, and she was told to take pain medication, says her mother, Rhonda Hay.

That changed in March 2005, when Stefanie's mom brought her to see acupuncturist Heather L. Poole in Middletown.

"Pretty much immediately when I came here, and she (Poole) put in the needles, I was out of pain," says Stefanie of her treatments, which are continuing. "I feel a lot better. She takes the pain away, and it's improving my digestion, too."

"I hadn't seen Stefanie be happy before that in two years, since before the digestive problems started," says Rhonda Hay, 46. "I knew nothing about acupuncture. But I have a friend whose daughter has epilepsy and very bad migraines. She took her daughter to an acupuncturist, and it got rid of the headaches and reduced the seizures.

"She highly recommended it to us. I never dreamed acupuncture would work this way," she says, adding that she then began treatments.

"My sinuses cleared up. I was on Claritin and don't take it anymore," Rhonda Hay says.

None of this surprises Poole.

"We have proven scientifically through research that acupuncture has a profound effect on the immune system, the endocrine system and the central nervous system," says Poole, 37, whose practice, Ancient Arts Acupuncture, is on Newman Springs Road in the Lincroft section.

"Acupuncture is the oldest professional medicine that exists — more than 3,500 years old — with over a quarter of the world's population using it as a primary modality," says Poole, who has a master's degree in acupuncture, is nationally board-certified and is licensed in New Jersey, Colorado and New York state.

The treatment involves using new, sterile, very tiny needles to stimulate specific areas of the body to promote good health or treat illness.

"The needles are inserted along 14 meridians, or channels, in the body that hold the qi — pronounced "chee' — the vital energy that animates us. The meridians have areas where the qi pools, and those are the acupuncture points," Poole says, holding up a fine needle that looks far thinner than a strand of human hair. "When the qi flows freely in your body, you have good health. When the qi is blocked, you have pain, or your qi will stagnate and manifest as illness in the body. With our needles, we unblock, increase or modulate qi."

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