How I View The Patient and My Role As Practitioner
Patients come to acupuncture for many reasons. Symptoms may be many and diverse. Physical discomfort is frequently among them and is one of the most common complaints. It is my belief that more than just addressing symptoms it is important recognize and see the person behind the symptoms and help the patient to understand their relationship to what is happening in their lives. Peoples’ inherited constitutions, lifestyles, beliefs, attitudes and emotions all play a role. We are all multi-layered. Everything is happening in the same place—the body and mind are inseparable--a fundamental understanding in oriental philosophy and medicine. Everything has location, form, substance and process involving all the body’s systems.
It is common that many patients’ difficulties stem from their responses to on-going, long-term stress. Sometimes trauma from the past--physical and emotional--is involved. In other cases, our response to climactic factors may be involved. Frequently there are many factors present. Often our response to these factors is contraction—a closing down that can affect our health in diverse ways. Contraction literally reduces our space and can become obstructive to movement on all levels. When we become habitually contracted, we can feel limited in how we respond to change in our lives.
My work and role as practitioner is to provide a safe environment and to assist the patient in feeling more comfortable, open and present in their body—to help move the roadblocks—and help the individual feel more room in themselves. As the saying goes in Taoism--an aspect of Oriental medicine, where there is free flow, there is no pain. When there is obstruction we experience discomfort and disharmony. All the modalities of Oriental medicine are a part of assisting the individual in this way.
How I Work
When a new patient first contacts me by phone, we discuss their health situation and concerns in order to determine if the treatments I offer may be appropriate for them. My aim is to provide safe, attentive care to all patients regardless of age.
I am happy to consult with all individuals to determine if acupuncture and oriental medicine can be helpful whether for the management of illness, major transitions in life, injury from sports and other accidents, PTSD, domestic violence or simply for their regular health maintenance self-care program.
The First Visit
The first visit is the beginning of evaluation as well as the treatment process. Patients first complete a simple intake and question form in order to create a picture of their history and what has brought them to their current situation. Through looking, asking, listening as well as pulse, tongue and palpation of the hara (core reflexes in the trunk of the body), as well as the whole body, we begin to make a determination as to how to proceed initially in treatment. Patient feedback is always important when possible.
I treat everyone individually. No two people are alike regardless of diagnosis in western medical terms.
The evaluation process is always ongoing and successive treatments may vary greatly in terms of modalities employed. It is very rare, in my experience, that two treatments are exactly alike.
Sometimes the keeping of a journal may prove helpful in the patient’s case in order for them to keep track of their experiences in treatment, and in how and what is changing, and when. This may be especially helpful when a patient’s difficulties have a long history.
It is not uncommon for symptoms other than chief complaints to start changing under the radar of the patient’s awareness when their attention is focused elsewhere.
My Bag of Tools
In my practice I work with a variety of modalities. I may choose to work with one or several in combination. On occasion, a patient will request a certain modality they have experienced in the past that they have found helpful. I am happy to accommodate such requests, but will always make my recommendations.
Modalities I Use
Acupuncture styles based upon Chinese, Japanese and western traditions
•Tui Na Chinese massage, acupressure (Jin Shin style), trigger-point release, connective tissue, foot reflexology, cranio-sacral method and reiki energy work •Moxabustion--in a variety of forms •Cupping •Herbology--usually patent formulas in tablet form •Dietary Counseling—based on the principles of oriental medical assessment In addition to the above I offer counseling and coaching to patients, sometimes in the form of dialogue and visualization during sessions, instruction in meditation and qi gong* practices.