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

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yao Tong Xue

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting and treating a gentleman that has had severe back pain, steadily getting worse for the last 30 years. When he walked into the treatment room he was bent over, and shuffling along. I asked him "Is there any position you can get into that will be less painful?" He said "I have to lie face down." I got him into position as carefully as I could.

There are a set of points, located on the back of your hand; if you follow the gap between the bones from the knuckles towards the wrist, between the little finger and the ring finger, and the gap between the index and middle finger. Where the bones meet, or the gap ends is a set of points called "Yao Tong Xue" or Lumbar Pain Point. You know I have to love practical names, especially in acupuncture points.

These points have demonstrated empirical evidence that they reduce lumbar back pain. That is nice, but it does not really make sense from a meridian energetics perspective. But I do not care about that as any of you that know me realize. I care about results.

I asked my patient to quantify his level of pain on a 1-10 scale. I do not like those scales but they do have their uses. He replied if it could go higher he would give it a higher number. Very intense pain. The type where all your awareness is engulfed. Nothing except pain is in your awareness. I put the needles into the back of both of his hands, placed the heat lamp above his lower back and started asking his wife the questions for my intake form.

After about 15 minutes I asked him how he was feeling. He replied "All I am feeling is the heat on my back."

After the questions I proceeded into the rest of my treatment. He has had back surgery and has a neural stimulator in his back to minimize or over-ride the pain sensations. But he does not use that very much. He is on a phentonal patch (a morphine derivative pain killer). So that limits a few of the tools I would normally use.

At the end of the treatment, after I had removed the needles I asked him to gently get up and sit of stand ,which ever would be less painful. He sat right up. when he stood up he stood all the way up. His wife commented that she had not seen him stand that straight in YEARS. When he left he said he was pain free!!!


I do not expect that to remain that way, in fact his pain returned somewhat 4 hrs later, but he is still standing more straight than before.

I will see him today and we will talk about healing curves. It is not a straight linear process. One improves then there is a 'set-back' of some kind or another and you slide back a bit. But the point you slide back to is almost always at a "higher" point than where you were when you started, then you continue back up the healing slope, and then you slide back a bit. And so it goes.

Of course that is not the way it always is. We all know there are some diseases where it is just the opposite. But it is great to have been a part of this transformational experience. I will encourage him to enjoy it while he can and to not have preconceived ideas of what his future holds. On either side of that possibility.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is this for real?

I have a google alert in my e-mail system, so anytime an article gets published on the net about acupuncture I get a once a day notice of this. It is pretty amazing. I would never read through the thousands of news sources to see if any particular story is interesting. Some are very interesting. There is all kinds of really interesting research going on by mainstream sources. It is very exciting.

Then there is this story. I do not know enough about the "double-blind" research mentioned in the Wired article. But the concept is a stretch, to be sure. Then I start to think about quantum physics, and the simple black/white boundary blurs into a ever-changing shade of gray.

I do know enough to understand that I do not know enough to evaluate this fairly. I mean acupuncture itself can be said to function on a quantum physics level. Who am I to say this Dr. is not legitimate and able to do what he claims to do. And how could one evaluate it.

To me, it is another potential area of concern. If someone that feels acupuncture is 'quack medicine' reads the Wired article it will only convince them they are right. That same individual would probably not go to Bastyr University's website for their article. If a university of the stature of Bastyr would invite Dr. Sha to give a lecture it would tend to add some legitimacy to his statements.

He even has his own Wikipedia entry.

So, I guess what I am left with for today is confusion. If any of you can, please post a comment, or link to an article that might help us understand this.