July 05, 2011

This is a piece I wrote for our local monthly entertainment newspaper. Enjoy !!!

TOP TEN REASONS FOR TRYING (OR NOT TRYING) ACUPUNCTURE

1 –- PAIN - PAIN - PAIN -  If you hurt or are in pain, acupuncture is an excellent choice of treatment. Back pain, neck pain, and knee pain are commonly treated.

2 – It has been practiced somewhere in the world for over 2,000 years. It must work to have lasted that long.

3- You have tried other things and still do not feel good. I hear all the time, “You are my last resort.” Some patients have told me that they have seen every doctor in Oregon. Chinese medicine is effective for many things that Western medicine has trouble treating. I have told many of my patients, “You can feel better.”

4- It doesn’t cost as much as you think.  In the Rogue Valley, you can pay anywhere from $20 to $85 per visit. Initial visits may cost more for interview and evaluation. For certain conditions, you may be asked to come in two or three times a week for a few weeks until you begin feeling better. Some of you may have insurance that covers acupuncture.

5- You hate needles. You are afraid of needles? Well, technically they are not needles. Acupuncture needles are really like sewing pins. Hypodermic needles are designed to inject or extract fluids. They therefore break the skin or blood vessels to accomplish that. Acupuncture pins are very thin, can be painless, and cause little or no bleeding. If you are in pain, being afraid of or hating needles may be a good excuse, not a great excuse.

6 – You have one of these treatable conditions: allergies; women’s health issues, including menstrual pains, PMS, and infertility; headaches, insomnia; digestive issues; heart burn; GERD; stomach pain; and stress and anxiety.

7 – I don’t know how it works. Half of my patients ask me how acupuncture works. We have theories in Chinese Medicine to explain it. But how it really works, we don’t know yet. It appears to work on a different system than the central and peripheral nervous systems. To me it does not matter that I don’t know exactly how it works. I use a cell phone, a television, a computer and I don’t know how they work. What is important is the result. If you do a treatment and there is a change for the better, that is what we are looking for.

8– I have tried it and it didn’t work.  Don’t let that stop you from trying again. I once had a slice of pizza that was not good. I still eat pizza. Not all acupuncture is the same. You can try a different practitioner; you can try the same one again. There are different styles, different methods, and different techniques. If you don’t like the way you feel, it is worth it to give it another try.  

9– I don’t know where to go. Ask a friend, a co-worker, or your neighbor. Someone can give you a referral. If not, call an office and talk to the acupuncturist. If you feel comfortable with what the person says on the phone, it could be a good fit.

10 – PAIN – PAIN – PAIN – Oh, I said that already. Give acupuncture a try. What do you have to lose but a little pain? Thanks for reading.

Enjoy the summer. Call me if you need me.
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