Peaceful Mountain Acupuncture

A weekly blog about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States

This blog is going to be, primarily a venue for me to express my thoughts about Life and the complexities of the physical plane. My story is simple, I am an easy going individual and a moderate recluse. I am comfortable walking or sitting, talking or being silent. I am always seeking new friends and acquaintenances. I tend to look deeply and question myself about the lesson behind the experience. If you like what you read, please leave me a note, if you have a blog please leave me a link so I can read your writing as well. Thanks

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Accessing One’s True Nature

As I wrote about in my last blog I have been impressed with the effects of auricular pellets, or ‘seeds’ (even thought they are made of stainless steel they are commonly called seeds). Over the last two weeks I have seen something else from the seeds.

Last week I put two seeds in both of the ears of my water-aerobics instructor. She has continuous back pain and I thought it was worth a try. About 15 to 20 minutes after I put the seeds in she “got goofy.” I say that with respect, she is a great lady, very high energy and very funny. After class I asked her if she was aware of the change in her demeanor and she said “Yeah, what’s up with that?” I had no answer, it was just an observation.

Yesterday I put seeds into a different patient. He is a very quiet, centered individual I was treating for knee pain. Today I saw him for a minute and asked how he was doing. “I have been very centered and focused since the treatment” he replied.

Later in my day I was thinking about these two different experiences. It led me to contemplate the nature of the two individuals.

Then I got it.

Each of these two different souls is more clearly expressing a more true aspect of their true nature. She was more vibrant and funnier, he was more focused and centered. Each was manifesting a true aspect of their nature.

This got me to wondering if I will observe this in more of my patients if I look for it. Which begs the question would that be an accurate observation or a reflection of my bias by looking for it?

It is interesting how this form of acupuncture works. I know that auricular acupuncture does not work for everyone, and I will not be using it on every patient; but it is effective. I guess tonight I ought to put a couple of seeds into my own ears. I am always trying to access my true inner-nature.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It just goes to show

I had the honor a few weeks ago of giving a treatment to a truly world-class athlete. I have asked her permission to write about this, because it is so amazing to me.

Pam Reed just completed a world-record 300 mile no-sleep run. She took just under 80 hours to complete this amazing feat. Imagine starting at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning and running without stopping for sleep until Monday at 2 in the afternoon. Just the accomplishment is nearly unbelievable. If I hadn’t been with her for part of the time I would have wondered about her cognitive faculties towards the end of the run. I was lucky enough to spend Sunday night from 8 until 5 Monday morning riding my bike next to her. She was lucid and able to converse. At about 2 a.m. she got quiet, but never slowed down or stopped her run. I was giving her leg massages at the end of a lap (25 miles). All of this is amazing and was a pleasure to be around. That kind of dedication and perseverance is always inspiring.

But of course that is not what I am truly amazed by.

Pam has tight hamstring muscles. After she has been running for several hours her right hamstring gets tight and starts to affect her gait. I have had good results giving her acupuncture treatments either before or after a long run. But no one had ever made a run like this before. (One man had run 265 + or - in the same way, and that is incredible as well.) So I was giving Pam a pre-run treatment and making arrangements to meet her and give massages to her when I asked her if we could try something different. EAR PELLETS.

Auricular acupuncture is one way to extend a treatment and some people would say it enhances the effectiveness of any treatment. I like it, but do not always utilize it. I am now rethinking that approach.

I put two pellets (Silver coated stainless steel) into each ear. I was taught to use Shenmen (Neurogate) as an ‘amplifier’ with any other point. Then I found the most tender point near the hip joint/sciatic nerve area and placed a pellet there.

When I was riding with Pam she was saying how the ‘ear seeds have made a huge difference.’ Her gait was straight and her legs were tracking well. Two weeks after the run (she was out of town) we got together for another treatment and Pam told me “I am convinced those ear seeds made a complete difference in my run. My hamstring did not hurt for the entire run. In fact my hamstring did not hurt for two days after I removed the seeds and then only minimally.” That is a HUGE difference.

I met her this Wednesday as she was preparing to go to London to run a marathon there and then return to Boston for their marathon. She wanted more seeds. It just goes to show...

Friday, April 08, 2005

More Subtle than Physical

I have been supervising a student clinic for the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, the clinic is a Tui Na Clinic in an Assisted Living Center. I have had two students last quarter and they returned for another quarter that will end at the end of May. It has been a great clinic.

One of the things that is always interesting to me is to see these patients respond so well from Tui Na. The bodywork has to be gentle, due to the age of the patients and their frail condition. But almost always they respond very clearly to the bodywork. Old-age has been called a second childhood and it is interesting to note that the seniors seem to respond to Tui Na as quickly as an infant does. Maybe it is because they are so close to the gate that their body responds to energy work more quickly than an adolescent or adult.

Tui Na is well suited for this clientel, the gentle pressure is relaxing and relieves stagnation very effectively. Of course every patient is different, but with an average age of mid 80's we see a lot of stagnation and Qi deficiency.

One of the area's we have had to learn to work through is when a patient is non-verbal due to sequella of stroke. We have to become attuned to the individual patient and determine what works well for that patient on that day and adjust our treatments accordingly.

Many times the students will start with a physical movement, a pressing or vibrating technique that will evolve naturally to the point their hand is not moving, but the vibration is 'internalizing' inside the musculature of the patient. As a supervisor I get to watch the patients from a different perspective than the students. I get to see the patient relax into this non-physical, vibrational form of treatment. It is cool to watch.