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

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chipping Away

This week I got to see the lady with the neck pain.

Her pain level has dropped from the 9 level it was to a consistent 5. That is huge, and I do appreciate this change. But not as much as my patient does. ;-)

She said "I am almost afraid to talk about it because I do not want to jinx whatever you've done."

The trapezius muscle at the top of her shoulder has loosened up so it is now more like a rope instead of a steel cable. It is progress, to be sure. But it's not over, this I know.

The morning I saw her she had had a migraine, that had to have pain relief, medication style. When I saw her the headache had dropped to a 2. When she left she was happy, relaxed and pain-free.

I will keep chipping away at this. I know it will be resolved, and that she is in a much better position than she has been for the last 17 years...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Surrounding the Dragon

This week I had the pleasure of meeting and treating a lady that has had severe, chronic neck pain for the last 17 years. It causes severe headaches, almost daily.

Whenever I do an intake I always ask about pain. I ask my patient to 'quantify' the pain on a one-to-ten scale, with ten being unbearable. Once I had a young woman say her headaches were about a 13. OUCH!!! was all I could say. This weeks lady said her pain was about 9 and her headache so far (10:30 a.m.) was only a 4. I think she would have went for higher numbers, but wanted to work within the scale presented to her...

As I was palpating the muscles on and around her shoulder blade I felt a knot, about the size of my thumb. The whole thumb. I decided it was time to Surround the Dragon.

One of the techniques we use for a situation like this is to insert needles around the knot and let the needles start to break-up the stagnation that is manifesting as a knot. When I put the needles into her back she felt an "unwinding" sensation in the area.

After 15 minutes or so I removed the needles and did a Tuina release treatment on her neck and shoulders. The muscles on the top of her shoulders are tighter than a towing cable. It was like pushing into a table top. Unbelieveable tension. No wonder she gets headaches.

I decided to stretch the envelope a little more. I inserted an 'intra-dermal' needle into the tightest part of the top of her shoulder, taped it over, talked it over and sent her home.

Here is the nutshell of what I said: "The intra-dermal needle is extremely small, but by leaving it in place it will continue to release the tension in your shoulder muscles and should help with your headaches. If it gets to be too much remove the tape, it is taped in place in such a way that removing the tape will pull the needle out. But be sure to look and see the needle in the tape. If it does not come out someone else will have to search it out and use tweezers to remove it."

That actually is a fairly common treatment, it is just unusual for me to do that on the first visit. But she was in such pain that I felt compelled to extend the treatment if possible.

When she l;eft she was feeling so much better, the pain was down to a 4 and her headache was gone.

Its a good start.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Finally making in-roads

Well next month I get to give a presentation to the University of Arizona's Cancer Support Group. This is a group of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and others that meet monthly to discuss new research in cancer and how to improve the "journey of cancer." I have been going there for over a year now. I keep trying to make in-road into the world of oncology. No bites yet...

This presentation will be my first. It is challenging in that I have to present to a group of highly educated individuals, yet they know next to nothing about Chinese medicine. ?How do you speak at a highly intelectual level while simultaneously addressing the most basic concepts? This should be fun... I think.

This presentation came about because a couple of months ago Dr. Krouse said that the oncology community is noticing a higher corelation of individuals that have or had lung cancer and then develop colorectal cancer and they do not have any idea of why or how. Being the brave, yet foolish guy that I am I stuck up my hand and said, "That is easily explained through the system of Chinese medicine. The Lung and Large Intestine are a paired organ system." It is rare that I have recieved such a perplexed look from any one. He just said, "Oh." Then changed the subject.

After the meeting one of the others came up to me and said not to worry about his reaction, that is how he responds when something stretches his envelope farther than he is comfortable.

I then approached his assistant and asked if Icould get in rotation for a presentation. So, here I go.

It is challenging in that I will have less than 40 minutes to explain TCM and answer any questions. My approach is to talk about the side effects of chemotherapy and how acupuncture and herbs can help in reducing these side effects. This has been called "Walking on Two Legs;" one leg is the allopathic medicine, the other leg is the traditional medicine. We'll see if I have two legs to stand on when they get through with me... ;-)

Till the next blog.