Today I want to talk to you about one of my life’s passion: Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world. It is part of alternative medicine and is used to restore and maintain peoples health. This is done through fine sterile needles placed at specific points of the body. These needles stimulate qi (life force energy). It is used for many ailments listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) but has to be performed by a qualified practitioner. Our body is made up of yin and yang aspects. Yin being inner, soft, slow, cold, weak. Yang being the opposite: outer, hard, fast, hot, strong. As opposite as they are, they are inseparable forces that maintain the body in balanced states. This balanced state is HEALTH. The opposite to health is of course disease. Disease is a stagnation of energy leading to blockage of qi along the 12 regular meridians and 8 extra-ordinary meridians. So what can Acupuncture treat? Stress, Pain, Digestive problems, Fertility, Neurological issues, Orthopedic Disorders, etc….
I have been an Acupuncturist since 2002 and have seen it change so many lives. Coming from the conventional world of medicine it was hard for me to mentally understand that these little needles with the fine prick can actually change things. My eyes have been opened and my patients have thought me so much and continues to. In my practice I use acupuncture alone or in conjunction with other modalities to get different desired benefits. Many patients may not think it important to reveal certain medications, recreational drugs or medical conditions but these are very important for the practitioner to know before treating you. E.g. I treated a young man years ago who intentionally held back information that he smoked marijuana before coming in for a treatment. Well, the treatment I was giving him was for pain so I was increasing circulation intensely. In chinese medicine, pain is caused by stagnation of the qi (energy). This patient ended up getting a serious high and passing out. This was quite frightening. Fortunately, he came through and promised to reveal all future information.
I personally have treated various types of conditions with acupuncture. I remember when I was called to turn my first breached baby. I had only heard of it in theory and wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I still remember everything of that first session. So client laying supine ( face up) and I proceed to calm her and place needles in her pinky toe at Urinary Bladder 67. This is an empirical point for turning breech babies. The patient has seen the doctor and was slated for inversion ift he baby didn’t turn on its own. She did not want such an invasive procedure and abted for acupuncture. Needles to increase circulation: Four Gates which are Large Intestine 4 bilaterally and Liver 3 bilaterally. These two points increase qi and blood flow in a smooth manner. I also used Gallbladder 21 which is used to cause the bearing down effect. So with needles in place, I took pole moxa which is the AiYe (motherwort) herb in a cigar shape and lit it. This herb along with the pecking motion of the moxa around UB 67 starts the qi movement. After a few minutes of pecking and circling in a clockwise position I saw her abdominal area start to move. Ah ha I’m getting somewhere. As much as this was the desired effect, it was still scary and yet exciting to see the baby move vigorously inside. I continued this for thirty minutes and then the baby decided to go to sleep. I guess tired from all the activity. Needles were removed and off I went to return on Day 2. Now sometimes you can turn a breech baby in one session, but most of the time it takes a few sessions.
Day 2: Mom stated she did not sleep too well because there was a lot of movement. Hey did the baby finish its turn? I palpated the abdominal area and found the baby to be horizontal. Out came needles and moxa to finish the turn to homestretch. I repeated the session from Day 1. MASSIVE MOVEMENTS! It looked as if the baby was going to come out right there. Now I didn’t mention but the moxa smells like marijuana and so it leaves you feeling quite relaxed. Being in the home of a prominent attorney and the neighbors smelling this well known aroma was not easy for them. After our session getting into the elevator with a neighbor and that weird “how dare you” look left a little crackle of smile to end my day.
Day 3: Mom went to see her doctor and yes baby was turned. Our lovely baby girl was born almost a week later through natural childbirth.
Health inside and out,
Tracy Piper, L.M.T., L.Ac., C.H. C.C.T