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

Friday, May 04, 2007

More than 9 Volts

It has been an interesting time. I have been seeing quite a few individuals with various physical injuries. The gentleman with the back pain I wrote about recently is doing very well. He left to return to his summer home, but he did so standing upright and with a smile on his face. That was nice to see.

I have been using the micro-stimulation (e-stim) device I have on many of my patients. It really does help in certain conditions. In fact I have used it so much that I had to replace the battery! I just drained it over the last 6 months of use. Before this replacement The previous battery lasted 18 months.

I find it interesting to use e-stim. This has been in use since approximately 1958, and the understanding and application of e-stim has evolved and been refined a lot over that time. I remember the first time I experienced it; the machine was not of the best quality. As soon as I could feel the electrical stimulation the intern at the school attempted to turn it up just slightly; I almost went through the roof. The machine had "spiked" because of the poor quality of electronics used to make it. The machine I have is a high quality, Japanese made unit. It responds well to the controls, in a very predictable manner.

One reason I find the use of e-stim to be interesting is the difficulty it presents in explaining its function. The temptation is to use "Western Scientific Terminology" to explain its effectiveness; but that is also the trap. I feel it is very important to keep my understanding of "all things Chinese Medicine" in the paradigm of Chinese medicine. I have to resist the temptation to explain something in a western scientific term whenever possible.

One of the other instructors at the school explained this very well, and very clearly. I will paraphrase his explanation.

He said, and I have used this exact terminology for several years, that it is very much like languages. In this explanation he said that when "Western Science" tries to explain Chinese medicine and science one has to be careful to look at a deeper message within this attempt. He said it MAY cover a belief that "Western Science is the TRUE science" and that anything that happens has to be able to be explained in that paradigm. Think about that for a minute. Carried out to a logical conclusion that would state that for the Mayan calendar to be 'true' it would have to have been built and explainable in Western scientific terms, or that the Hopi belief system is inaccurate, untrue and inexplicable. There would be many many examples of this; but the point is that this type of thinking greatly limits what you will see or learn.

His other example was directly about languages, and it is an example I have used in my presentation to various doctors over the years. If one takes the example of one person speaking Italian and another person speaking Greek it would not be accurate to presume that either of the languages is the "truth" at the exclusion of the other. It is also very important to remember that when one translates from one language to another something is ALWAYS lost in the translation. This becomes very important when trying to explain and or understand the concept of one scientific paradigm as compared to another.

As an example let me discuss pain; it is accepted as a 'statement of fact' in Chinese medicine that "where there is no free flow (of qi) there is pain, and where there is pain there is no free flow (of qi)." In a reductionist argument one could say that all of the treatment for pain involves and revolves around reducing or removing the obstruction of the flow of qi that is manifesting as pain. That statement has some truth, but it does not address pain from deficiency, which is a completely different subject. But within the spectrum of pain caused by an impediment to the flow of qi it is accurate, though limited. So in this one could use acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese Medical Massage (tuina) to restore the free flow of qi and stop the pain.

E-stim works to reduce or dissolve the obstruction that is impeding the free flow of qi; once the qi can flow the body will return to its own natural state of well being.

E-stim does NOT work for all types of pain, nor does it work by incorporating Western Science and Chinese Medical Science. In a way that is difficult to explain it works within the contextual understanding of Chinese Medicine to resolve the stagnation, or impediment of the free flow of the qi within the meridians. I have seen that when the 'intensity' needed to elicit any sensation decreases it indicates that the degree of stagnation, or impediment has also decreased; and if the level of intensity is fairly high it indicates a higher degree of stagnation is present.

The last piece of this is that the results are not always immediately apparent. I treated a gentleman last week for excruciating pain in his right elbow. At the end of the treatment he was still in severe pain. We agreed to try again, after all he has had this pain fro 16 years. I got a message today that the next day his pain was "drastically reduced."

It is great when this happens, and it is much, much more than 9 volts...


Anonymous Audrie said...

Referring to your last sentence, indeed it is.

11:12 AM  

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