Acupuncture has become a popular healing art in America. I was a pioneer back in 1983, one of the first to become licensed in this field and one of the last to study with Dr. So, considered the “father” of acupuncture in America.
Why has acupuncture become so popular? Because it helps people with a wide range of pain and health problems. It is now used in every major city, every state, and even some hospitals like Children’s in Boston. It is relaxing, safe and health enhancing. Many people fall asleep during acupuncture treatments, usually one hour long.
Now some people recoil when they hear that needles are used. The needles are extremely thin and tiny and are very gentle. Besides needles are just one part of the treatment, and not always used. In twenty-seven years I have never had a problem with these healing needles!
Acupressure on the points is used, as well as healing lotions, electric stimulation and even laser therapy. But I still find the needles the most effective, and every week people snore during a session.
Acupuncture is based on an ancient model of health, one that is very much in touch with modern times. The health of the body is governed by the life energy (when we die it disappears!) which we call chi. There are fourteen major chi pathways traveling the surface of the body. There is, for example, a lung pathway ( we call them meridians) that travels from the end of the thumb up the inside surface of the arm, into the chest and lungs, both sides of the body. Along this pathway are specific points used to moderate health, in this case breathing problems and coughs. However, some of the points on the lung pathway ( there are 11 on this one) are good for other problems like pain in the thumb, tendonitis in the elbow, anxiety, headaches and problems with the immune system.
For each patient we take a case history and perform a physical to determine the best combination of points (and other treatment modalities to use). Just the right combination, ten to twelve points for example, results in the best treatment for that person. Treatments are tailored specifically for each person. In my office a person lies on their back in a johnny for the first half and on their stomach on a comfortable cushion for the second part. I call this a whole body tune-up. I also do alot of work along the spine, the central highway of the body, There are at least sixty key points on the back, good for back pain, as well as many functions of the body. Treatment will also included energy work, muscle manipulation, heat or cold therapy, specific herbal ointments and lotions, and exercise therapy. We treat alot of joint pain, back and neck most common, as well as stress, anxiety, breathing problems, headaches, digestive problems, atheletic injuries, trauma,sleeplessness and even infertility issues. And much more. Last month I induced labor in a very pregnant woman who did not want chemical induction. In an easy seven hours delivered a beautiful baby girl, and was very happy.
What intrigues me the most about acupuncture is how comfortable it is for so many people. They zone out! Why is this? Acupuncture is founded on a very modern model of the human body: an alive integrated information system, much like a super intelligent computer. The acupuncture points tap into the vitality and knowledge of this amazing system. The person and body really appreciate this.