The life-changing benefits of acupuncture build over time and personal commitment to your own well-being. It takes time and effort to get in shape through exercise, and so too with our internal wellness. For chronic pain and other long term dis-eases that may have taken a long time or even a lifetime to accumulate, the Chinese Medical approach looks to long-term, slow incremental healing process with frequent, ongoing treatments. Acupuncture benefits are cumulative, building benefits over time. Acute situations including pain, colds & flu’s respond more quickly.In an effort to keep my treatments affordable I accept cash, checks or insurance. Chinese Medicine has been successfully used for the following dis-eased states for thousands of years:
Acupuncture treats the patient by insertion and manipulation of needles in the body.
The earliest written record of acupuncture is found in the Huang di Nei Jing (黄帝内经; translated as The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon), dated approximately 200 BCE.
The following are some personal notes on my approach to Chinese Medicine.
The Eight Branches of Chinese Medicine and their applications in modern times.
These aspects of life affect our health in the order listed below. Note that prayer, artistic outlet, the way we decorate our homes and work environment, actually came before the application of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine!
1. Prayer and Meditation ~ In Chinese Medicine the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical bodies are not separate, as is commonly believed in our modern culture. By addressing all of these aspects of one’s self, one can more quickly come to harmony, thus opening up to optimal health.
I like to work with people in their spiritual beliefs, whatever form that may take. By activating the patient’s prayers, directing compassionate intention and prayers towards their own healing, the person begins to feel empowered to affect their own well being. This practice enhances the healing process according to ancient Chinese teachings by more than 50%. And modern scientific experiments have proven that indeed prayer and intention do play a huge part of what we create in our health and lives. Most often after an acupuncture treatment my patients notice a marked difference in their level of overall sense of well being. I have a daily meditation practice which helps me stay clear, and grounded while I am helping people through their healing process. I feel that regular spiritual prayer and meditation is a way to rejuvenate myself so I can continue in the best way to help myself and others heal from any dis-harmonies manifesting in the physical body.
2. Diet ~ Everyone’s constitution is unique. Through careful review of one’s eating habits, taking into account cultural customs, climatic norms and seasonal changes, I will make suggestions based on the individual patient’s condition. For example, someone with a lot of phlegm resulting in productive cough, weepy eyes, and perhaps nausea, who lives in a damp climate, or there is an unusually damp spell in the weather, we may decide to eliminate damp foods such as ice cream and other dairy foods. Or someone with dry skin, hair, nails, may be directed away from dry foods such as crackers, or hot spicy foods which can dry the body’s fluids.
3. Lifestyle ~ Patterns of work, sleep, and restful activity do effect one’s health, and are often the focus of treatment as far as maintaining well being on an ongoing basis in one’s life. Work-aholism, apathy, and depression can leave little room in one’s life for activity with brings joy and balance to the whole person, and bring on stress and ill health.
4. Exercise ~ This is always an interesting area in today’s overactive culture. Many people in this country have very demanding and stressful work and home schedules, then they go to the gym for a heavy workout…and wonder why they are feeling so stressed, can’t sleep, are in chronic pain, or can’t digest food well. There’s a great quote from one of my root teachers, Miriam Lee, “Some of the most fit people I’ve ever seen are actually the most unhealthy”. So balance, again, is the key. I work with people to look at their lives, and those with very busy and stressful lives, I point towards more relaxing forms of exercise like yoga, tai chi, or chi gong. This way they bring the balance of relaxation and movement to their lives. Elderly patients, and those with chronic illnesses also benefit from these more gentle forms of exercise, while people who work at sedate desk jobs and the like, may benefit from more vigorous exercise.
5. Feng Shui ~ Geomancy, Feng Shui, or the art of the placement of things in our environment, is the fifth branch of Chinese Medicine. Ancient Chinese doctors would actually go into a person’s house to see what effects the household environment is having on the patient’s health before he would treat with herbs or acupuncture. And even today in Tokyo, no developer would think of beginning a project without first consulting a Feng Shui expert. In my practice I do like to visit people’s homes especially if there is chronic illness, or more than one person in the household is having health issues of any kind. Often there are very simple (and sometimes not so simple) changes one can make in the home environment which can benefit the well being of the entire household.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. When I gave birth to my son I lived in an upstairs apartment which had a long dark hallway as an entrance. I had a difficult time in labor which resulted in the baby being a footling breech with the cord wrapped around his head, and needed a cesarean section. A year later my friend moved into that same apartment when I moved out, and she too had a very difficult 42 hour labor with her daughter. I later learned of another woman who lived in that apartment years before us and almost died giving birth. As I studied this aspect of Chinese Medicine, I read a passage from an ancient text which warns of long dark hallway entrances specifically for women in the home who were to give birth, as it represents the entrance to the world for the baby, and can portend danger.
Recently I’ve been doing Feng Shui analysis for businesses in Northern Siskiyou county, successfully increasing their incomes, avoid one major lawsuit, and benefiting worker relations.
There are many good books on Feng Shui like the one “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” that give a good picture of the importance of taking care of your living and working environments. In cases of illness it is best to get a Chinese Medicine practitioner to come assess the home as she will most likely notice things pertaining to the patient that others may overlook. See the Feng Shui tab under “Healing Therapies” then “Chinese Medicine”, for more interesting stories!
6. Acupuncture ~ click on the “Healing Therapies” then Acupuncture for this info.
7. Herbs ~ click on the Herbal Medicine tab under “Healing Therapies” for more herbs info… Classical Chinese Herbal formulas are used to augment acupuncture treatments. They are balanced in ways to ensure easy digestion and to balance the effects of the individual herbs that compose the formula, thus avoiding problems in modern approaches to herb use where an herb company will isolate the active constituent which scientists believe is responsible for the herbs’ action, and administer this as a “cure” for allergies, weight control, etc. Chinese practitioners almost never prescribe just one herb, but several which provide balance in the medicinal effects.
Classical Chinese Herbal formulas have often been in use for hundreds of years, tailored with great consideration to balance the effects of the herbs to make for very safe internal medicine. A skilled and well educated practitioner will know how to diagnose and administer herbs with great benefit to the patient.