Blog : Acupuncture
Over the last few months, we've been talking about the treatment process – how we diagnose, how issues are treated, and your pathway back to health. One of the most frequent and most important questions every new patient wants to know is “how long will it take for me to be well (or pain-free or feeling normal)?” While the answer is always “it depends”, we understand how frustrating an answer this can be. Here we want to give you more information this month that hopefully will help to answer your question.
As we mentioned before, when we take on a new patient we have a high degree of confidence that we can treat that patient to “resolution.” “Resolution” is a bit subjective here because we not only look to resolve the primary reason you come to us for treatment, but we also look for other related issues to resolve as well, regardless whether or not the patient indicated that as an area of concern. If you go back to our December blog post about the Root and Branch, you'll see this allows us to treat the source of the imbalance as well as the primary symptoms. Symptoms are addressed in the context of the high-level imbalance and as the high level imbalances are corrected, symptoms resolve and cease to be an issue.
We divided the treatment process into 3 phases – I. Stabilization, II. As Little Treatment as Possible, with Improvement, and III. Maintaining Balance.
A growing number of Physical Therapists and other medical professionals are beginning to offer a treatment they call Dry Needling or Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). You may have noticed that Dry Needling bears a striking resemblance to Acupuncture, and you may have been wondering what it is, how it is different from Acupuncture and which therapy is right for you.
Dry needling is a term coined by Janet Travell, M.D. in the mid 20th century. She used empty hypodermic needles to diffuse trigger points (the term “dry” refers to the fact that the needles were empty). Physical Therapists have continued to refer to this therapy as dry needling even though they now use acupuncture needles.
So what's the difference?
As we discussed last month, there are three phases of the treatment process. This month we look at the progression that patients take along the path back to health.
Human physiology – all physiology for that matter --follows the principle of Yin and Yang.
Last month, we shared with you the differences between Western and Chinese medicine and the causes of disease. If you missed Part 1 of this discussion in last month's newsletter, you can read it here. This month we continue that discussion with the treatment process.
When we take on a new patient we have a high degree of confidence that we can treat that patient to “resolution.” In order to understand what we mean by this, let's go back to last month's article to review a little bit about how we approach our work in the clinic and how Chinese Medicine views the body.
All systems operating in a cyclical pattern, including the human body.
Chinese medicine is a science and medicine in its own right, with its own stringency and strictness of diagnosis and treatment similar to Western medicine, with procedures and protocols based on centuries of observation of how the universe works The ways of understanding the body's relationship to health and disease are very different between Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine. Chinese medicine focuses on increasing health to unseat disease, and supporting the body's inherent qualities to regain health.
Management and treatment of pain is one of the most important aspects of effective acupuncture. When David started Red Earth, he was doing some work in Google to understand what, related to Chinese Medicine, people are searching for. At the time, he plugged every possible search-term he could think of – probably a list of 30 or so criteria. The result: One term was exponentially and universally searched on way more than any other term, and it was pain. Everyone wanted to know how to get out of pain.
When we learn about disturbing events and news that makes us cringe such as we have heard in the last few weeks, it can be extremely hard for us to process it. We may think that it’s something that just should not have happened, it goes against our sense of right and wrong, and we just can’t get our minds around why and how it happened. We may become obsessed with watching the same news reports over and over trying to grasp what happened. However, this just brings more sorrow and distress for the victims, and makes us feel like we are helpless to do anything. We may even fear for ourselves and our families. The more we watch, the more we feel despair, fear, anger, grief and discouragement. And when other traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one, or a car accident happen in the midst of this chaos, we can reach the tipping point and experience these emotions in a big way. If we have experienced trauma in the past, then current shocking events may trigger a resurgence of negative emotions and anxiety. One of the down-sides of our current media saturated culture is that it is easy to become “caught” in a negative media feedback loop. To help break this cycle, you can simply give yourself a “News Fast,” by turning off the TV and not checking Facebook, etc. for a period of time. Regarding stress, trauma and negative thoughts, we have seen many people helped through using acupuncture.
The #1 question we are asked at the clinic comes from those who are wondering if acupuncture can help with a problem that they or someone they know has? Red Earth Acupuncture employs centuries old traditions that have proven to be effective for a broad range of conditions.
Chinese Medicine views disease and pain as an imbalance in the body. Our bodies have a number of mechanisms that regulate balance in the body: these include the regulation of body temperature, pH, hormones, blood flow and concentrations of sodium, calcium and glucose. These mechanisms may get out of balance for a number of reasons such as long time poor dietary habits, traumatic events, medications, environmental toxins, or injuries. When the body gets out of balance, we begin to see it manifested physically as disease, intense pain, digestive problems, menstrual irregularities and other issues.
Spring is a time of rebirth, sudden growth, and rapid expansion; an awakening of the life process. With that in mind, we thought this month might be a good time to talk about Fertility and Pregnancy.