The other day I was blessed to be celebrating my friend’s daughter getting married. It is always nice to be able to catch up with old friends and converse about what they and their families are up to. It seems we are all rushing through our day to day, and subsequently, we do not always have enough time to have the conversations we would like to.
Many of my friends are aware of what I do for a living and some are also patients. Occasionally I run into someone who has little understanding of what Acupuncture can actually do to help the body heal. Most days I love these conversations. I enjoy explaining the science behind Acupuncture and giving proof of clinical trials and studies showing its exemplary benefits. Other days, quite frankly I run out of patience. Last week was a super hectic week in the office. I am grateful for the vast number of patients who are cognizant and have the awareness of how Acupuncture can benefit them, and have taken the leap for self-care. The day of the wedding I was rushing all day without a second to spare between patients. As soon as I returned home from the office, I continued rushing to get dressed for the wedding and be as on time as possible. Luckily for me it was a local wedding, and we all know how much those are appreciated!
I was enjoying the delicious food at the smorgasbord, having not had a minute to have a proper meal the entire day. During this time a friend approached me and started a conversation which quickly led to her chronic medical ailments. She went on to explain how the Western medical approach had failed her chronic condition, and she was going from one medication to another for many years. She repeatedly explained that because she has such and such ailment, constant medication is the only option. Yet, every word was her telling me how she failed to see any improvement and was continuing to suffer not only with her ailment, but with the side effects of the serious medications as well. Let me pause here and say I was ‘hangry’. This has become one of my new favorite words! I was so hungry at that point that I was angry. I really needed to stuff my face a bit more in order to have the patience needed for this conversation. However, at this point in the evening, I just did not have the amount of stamina needed to endure this conversation. Rather than getting into a never-ending debate, I excused myself and went to find some not so healthy, maybe a bit too fattening, but certainly yummy food!
Holistic medicine and Acupuncture specifically, is something that as Americans, we simply did not grow up experiencing. Our understanding of its mechanism of action is therefore limited and may be completely wrong. I often feel that I have a responsibility to help educate people on how Acupuncture is different, and why it is so essential in helping you. Acupuncture is Science based medicine. The Acupuncture points are based on the anatomy and physiology of the human frame. They are based on meridians that allow Qi or vital energy, and blood to flow through these pathways reaching the organs and all systems of the body. The Acupuncture points act as gateways by allowing access into these meridians. They each have a specific job, but also work together as a whole, for your specific Acupuncture point prescription. When blockages occur within the meridians, disease ensues. Ongoing stress certainly contributes and can exacerbate the underlying condition by causing further stagnation and blockages. Acupuncture literally releases endorphins, makes changes in the neurotransmitters in the brain affecting both your mental, as well as your physical well-being, and ridding of your pain and inflammation.
The key point about Acupuncture is that it allows us to get to the root of the issue, and not just the symptom. This is what is unique to Acupuncture above and beyond every other modality. We are not just treating a symptom, illness or ailment. We do not simply put a band-aid on to mask the symptoms. We are in fact getting to the root cause of the illness. Over time this can effectively stop it from happening and recurring entirely!
Yes, I believe in it. I see tremendous improvement for my patients, and miracles in my practice every day. I am grateful to be able to help people achieve optimal wellness in body, mind and spirit. While my days are sometimes exhausting, I always go home feeling fulfilled knowing I have done my best and helped people heal. While I enjoy educating people about the success of Acupuncture, I can get frustrated as well, as explained in the previous example at the wedding I attended earlier this week. I cannot begin to tell you how often I hear people trying one medication after another with no success. Yet, they continue to revisit the same methods that are simply not working for them. How unfortunate is it, not to have a more open mindset to allow the concept that maybe there is something natural I can try for myself. Maybe the fact that there are absolutely NO negative side effects to trying Acupuncture, should in itself be an adequate reason to give it a try. Do some research for yourself and see how the WHO or the World Health Organization recommends Acupuncture for so many ailments. Take some time to look into the amazing clinical trials proving its success. Speak to the myriads of Doctors, Nurses, Physicians Assistants etc. who are my patients as they themselves have reaped the benefits.
I am happy to discuss the incredible benefits of Acupuncture and Holistic Healing. I am happy to encourage you to have a more open mindset into natural modalities, and better options for healing with no negative side effects. Fair warning: Just don’t try asking me to explain it when I am ‘hangry!’