March / April 2016
By Amy McDaniel
She slides the wooden and paper doors closed for the evening and reflects on her day as an acupuncturist in the busy town of Shang Hi. She rubs two common points on the sides of her calves because, although she should be tired, she knows massaging these pressure points will not only make her feel invigorated, but also help to keep her healthy.
One of her patients today was curious about how acupuncture worked and even more concerned about the pain the needles would cause. She smiled, as always, at the same question and explained patiently, “The Chinese believe we have an invisible force that hovers over all our vessels. This force is called Chi. This Chi runs through what we will call rivers throughout the body. These rivers pass through the organs they are named after, such as Liver, Gallbladder, Heart, Kidney, etc. Chi works like a water hose. If you turn the water on, and there is no kink in the hose, what happens?”
The patient responded, “The water comes out the end.”
She continued with the question, “But what if there is a kink in the hose?”
The patient replied, “Then the water doesn’t come out.”
“Correct!” She explained, “The Chinese believe all health conditions come from too much Chi or too little Chi. The purpose of using needles is to release the flow of Chi so it can run through the body as it should, allowing the body to heal and repair itself naturally. As for needle pain, the needles I use are very tiny, in fact you could fit 10 of my needles into one hypodermic needle like they use at the hospital.” This eased the client’s mind and she was able to experience first-hand the benefit of acupuncture.
In her practice, she has seen acupuncture change many of her patients’ lives. An elderly lady with Bells Palsy came in with her face drooping and unable to move on one side. After six treatments, her smile is back, as is the twinkle in her eye, and she is recovering her loss of motion. A middle aged woman has hot flashes and comes to the clinic about once a week. If she is not seen on a regular basis, her hot flashes become worse. Children often come into the clinic, as well. Sometimes with colds, but more often than not, with a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. Taking the time to listen is a very important part of acupuncture. The symptoms of ADD/ADHD can sometimes be managed just by changing the child’s diet, but a special treatment is often required that combines acupuncture, chiropractic, and kinesiology.
As she begins her journey home, she is thankful for her profession and all the people she is able to help. From toothaches, to headaches, and many things in between, she is blessed to improve the lives of others.