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01/10/2006 - Traditional Acupuncture in the 21st century - The art of gently placing stainless steel needles into the human body to create change?

21st century…what else can I expect…firstly my laptop crashes then my PC decides that it will destabilize and refuse to download some essential programs.

That leaves me in front of my computer tapping away on the keyboard with good intentions in the wee hours of the last Saturday morning in September 2006.

The webmaster has informed me that I have but a few hours before the deadline passes for submission of this article.

I had decided to not deliver this month….two fingered tapping is a killer, but the winds of change whistled through waking me in the early hours, stimulating my constitutional Kidney deficiency, providing me with the opportunity to bite the bullet and do the business.

Recently I presented a 45 minute tutorial to my physiotherapy colleagues at the Queensland Sports Medicine Centre. I talked of the power, flexibility and subtlety of Traditional Acupuncture.

I am not referring to needling to a depth of 1 ½ cun. on every point…for that matter I am not referring to needling to 1 ½ cun. on any point other than those in the backside.

If you believe that you can only achieve creditable clinical outcomes through deeper needling and mechanical stimulation please read on.

The mother of one of my colleagues recently had a complete gastrectomy and as you might expect was feeling a little worse for wear…

In fact her health was failing dramatically, much of the joy of life had been squeezed out of her.

Full of unspoken desperation she was coming to me for some…any respite!

I had stood up in front of at least half a dozen physiotherapists mouthing off about the brilliance of traditional acupuncture. It was time to put up or shut up!

How could I help this woman who was suffering so severely ..with digestive problems, utter exhaustion, depression, chronic and unrelnting tension, reeling from the reality that her body had given it up and some very vital bits had been removed due to the presence of cancer?

My first treatment was a disaster…although I did not needle deeper than a millimeter and left the needles in for a short time only.

Instead of intermittent diahorrea she developed diarrhea 24/7 …yowsers!

Maybe I could tell her it was a healing crisis? Definitely a time of reckoning for me as a practitioner, my colleague had referred his seriously ill mother and her condition was much worse after the first treatment.

Fortunately she had enough faith to return for a second treatment…without doubt if I stuffed up again she was gone, never to return..

With much care, caution and all the sensitivity that I could muster I tonified the points PE7 – SP3 – ST42 then needled the Back Shu’s BL13 – BL20 – BL23 – BL25…. incredibly superficially for about 15 minutes.

Phew…. there was a distinct and spontaneous improvement in her demeanour and her physical condition had improved markedly when she next visited clinic.

After four more treatments she is so much better..happier..smiling , more optomistic..she now senses a slowing rather than acceleration of an otherwise alarmingly downward spiral, health-wise.

A nice finishing touch….her son was married yesterday.
As traditional acupuncturists WE CAN achieve amazing clinical results without needling deeply, exerting gross mechanical stimulation or prescribing herbs.

I remain in awe of this medicine we practice…….the patients immediate and disastrous reaction to my first treatment clearly demonstrates the power we have at our disposal.

To be used with as much discretion as we can muster!

Her subsequent and dramatic improvement after further treatment definitely keeps me very, very interested in the art of gently placing stainless steel needles into the human body to create change.

As can so often be the case in life it can be more a matter of who you know than what you know?

6.30 am…..into the shower and out of here, Bris Vegas and clinic beckons. Thanks for reading …. Alan