I am writing you this letter to let you know that Chinese medicine is more than just acupuncture. Now don’t misunderstand me, a big part of Chinese medicine is the use of acupuncture but acupuncture isn’t the only tool in a Chinese medicine practitioner’s box. You see a well trained Chinese medicine practitioner will attend graduate school for about four years, including summers. They will take classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, herbology, nutrition, social work, and yes acupuncture but their degree will encompass much more than just acupuncture.
Many patients will come to me for help with pain. They will tell me that they have tried everything and are now willing to give acupuncture a try. Now while I both thank and commend you for coming to me to help you with your pain, please understand that I and most other Chinese medicine practitioners will not just give you acupuncture. We will also help guide you to healthier living and eating. I know this may seem overwhelming at first, but as a practitioner we need to treat the whole body; which is almost impossible to do when you repeat the exact action
that is causing the root of your pain.
A good Chinese medicine practitioner will ask you questions about your daily activity such as; how are you breathing? Do you have short breaths or long breaths? How active are you during the day? Do you go on walks, dance, or move at all? Are you at a desk all day? Have you ever tried Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or Yoga? We will take what we have learned from these answers and try to make your daily activity more conducive to what your body needs to be healthy.
Please realize that we are not trying to make your life harder, in fact it’s just the opposite. We are trying to make your life better. We are trying to alleviate your pain symptoms, and prevent you from getting sick too often. We want all of our patients to be healthy and lead fun, fulfilling lives. This might mean that you have to give up some things that you enjoy doing. We might ask you to stop eating gluten if you are suffering from chronic pain, headaches, autoimmune diseases, and stomachaches. There is a chance you will have to stop drinking alcohol especially if that is what triggers your symptoms. Also, obvious health hazards such as soda pop and cigarettes will always be off limits. Remember you are coming to us because you don’t feel good, and that might mean something you are doing in your everyday life could be causing the problem. Let us be your detectives and figure out what it is.
As a Chinese medicine practitioner, we have many tools at our disposal to help you aside from just acupuncture. The utilization of herbal formulas is just one of several examples that your Chinese medicine practitioner might suggest for you to start taking. You see herbs go along with a healthy lifestyle and diet because just like acupuncture, they treat the root of the problem. So don’t be surprised to see us add herbal teas to your diet to help prolong the benefits of whatever treatment we prescribe you.
Think about it this way. Have you ever bought a beautiful sweater and thought it looked perfect on you? However, the second you put it on you start feeling really itchy. You continue to tell yourself that it matched perfectly so you end up wearing it but by the end of the night you have rashes and hives all over your body. Now common sense tells you that if you would never have worn that sweater in the first place, then you would not be suffering, since the sweater is the root of the problem. The second you took it off you were fine, everything slowly healed. A Chinese
medicine practitioner will do everything they can to remove the metaphorical sweater that you are wearing. It is important that you work with us as we figure out what the problem is so we can help heal you. Please understand that Chinese medicine is a very powerful technique that can be used to treat ailments but the only way it can truly be successful is if you comply with the ideas of Chinese medicine.
To learn more about how and what acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you with, check out our
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Thank you for your time,
A Practitioner and a Patient
Dana Fine, L.Ac.
Editor In Chief