Why should I choose a Holistic approach to Acupuncture Vs a Local Treatment
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 1:09PM
Dr. Martin Dziak in Medical Acupuncture, acupuncture, chinese acupuncture, japanese acupuncture

Holistic Health (or Holistic Medicine) is a diverse field of alternative medicine[1] in which the "whole person" is focused on, not just the malady itself.[2] – Wikipedia.

When you have a pain or a certain condition, did it just appear out of nowhere or was there a background condition that contributed to the development of this new condition?

When a person falls and gets injured, why do certain areas show more symptoms then others? Why do some people take a long time to heal from an injury and why do other people heal quickly and carry on with their lives?

As winter approaches and we all prepare our snow shovels, how many of us feel apprehensive to our bodies reaction to the ‘new kind of exercise’ that me must partake in? This new kind of shovelling movement that our bodies are not used to might be hard on our backs or our shoulders.

Not stretching enough as well as sitting for too long in the office or in the car might create a weakness or an inflexibility that might make us prone to an injury.

Is there something we can do to maintain our health and fitness?

Regular exercise is important, educating ourselves in regards to nutrition is important but there are some conditions, imbalances and tendencies that might be hard for us to resolve by ourselves.

This is where holistic medicine can help and Acupuncture in particular when used in its holistic and traditional approaches ( Chinese / Japanese / Korean/ Taiwanese). In my experience Acupuncture can be a power medicine when it is used holistically and when it is not disconnected from its traditional roots.

When Acupuncture is used just to relax muscles and reduce local inflammation it might lose much of its potency as a Medicine.

In my experience as an acupuncturist when patients come on a regular basis to receive acupuncture treatments a sense of well being starts to develop in them and there is more ease to how they carry themselves through life, some of their chronic symptoms improve or disappear; Headaches, Insomnia, Irregular Menstruation, Stiffness in the body and their energy level improve.

It is hard to quantify a sense of well being; sometimes it is when clients take a break from their regular cycle of treatment is when they start sensing a decline in their sense of well being, this depends of how a person lives their lives. If we are fit, healthy and stress free there is no need for acupuncture but as most people live today, we can all use a boost and added harmony to our bodies and energy systems.

Acupuncture is like exercising your Chi (life force) if you don’t do it for yourself (using Internal Martial arts – Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Meditation) then acupuncture will exercise and harmonise your Chi for you, keeping your Energy(Chi)  and Meridian System in a good flow and your Organ System in Optimal Function.

How does your body respond to an injury?
Did you notice that some people will report an injury such as in a car accident whiplash and will bounce very fast back to health and some will get a whiplash and will take a long time to recover?

If you keep your system healthy and flexible you will probably be a part of the 1st group that bounces back to health quickly.

In my experience getting treated with acupuncture after and acute injury will speed up your healing process.

How Does Holistic Medicine / Acupuncture that is practiced in its Traditional Holistic Model of Treatment looks at an injury to my Lower Back?

So you have a lower back injury from snow shovelling and its acute and sharp, my questions to you are:
•    How Did your back feel on a daily bases before the injury?
•    Was there any stiffness there before or anywhere else in your body?

When you come to see a registered Acupuncturist that was trained with Traditional Chinese Medicine (which is a Holistic Model of using Acupuncture) we will try to look for structural relationship, Meridian relationships, Organ, Emotions and Constitutional tendencies.

What is constitutional medicine or a constitutional acupuncture?
The definition for Constitution Medicine according to thefreedictionary.com is:
“General; relating to the system as a whole; not local.”

This means that when you are treated with constitutional Acupuncture, we will try and look to how does your energy system works as a whole and what needs to be improved or ‘woken up’ in your body so the symptoms will get resolved as fast as possible and in order to avoid the reoccurrence of the same symptoms in the future.

So, back to the questions from before: Did you have back stiffness / weakness from before the injury?

This shows that there is some kind of background issue there that preceded the injury and created a weakness in that area. This weakness can be manifest on many levels, to name a few levels: it could be a Muscle Imbalance, Joint Imbalance, Meridian Imbalance or Organ Imbalance.

For example:

1.    Life force Energy (Chi) that got stuck in your Liver because life is stressful and you drive a lot, creates a tightness in your Glutes Muscles and in your Sacro-Iliac joint.
2.    This Liver energy is also in charge in keeping your tendons and IT band loose – but since this organ system is not working so well for a while now, it is making the IT Band really tight on one of the sides.
3.    This one sided tightness creates an imbalance in your Sacro-Illiac joint which creates a strain and rotation on your lower lumbar vertebras creating sciatica symptoms which radiates pain down one of your legs.
4.    Relaxing your IT band will involve sedating your Liver energy, working on meridians that flow laterally (Gall Bladder), Relaxing your nervous system, opening the blood flow to your lower abdomen, Nourishing your liver energy so it will nourish your tendon and ligaments and relaxing your Glutes Muscles and the Para-Spinal muscles that maintain the slight rotation and strain in your lumbar spine.

There might also be some conditions that be impeding the ability of your body to heal, these conditions need to be cleared as well, in order to aid a quick recovery from your symptoms.

Japanese Acupuncture which I practice as one of my main styles of acupuncture looks at the abdomen as a map to the internal organs and for the ability of your life force (Chi) and blood to flow correctly. By pushing lightly on the abdomen we can get a good understanding about a person’s health according to this model.

The interesting thing about Japanese Acupuncture is that when the correct needles are inserted (mostly on the four limbs) the sensation of pressure / pain in the abdomen while pushing the reflex area changes in a matter of minutes and if there is a symptom that relates to this ‘internal blockage’; it will subside. In general the more ‘images’ and layers we treat, the more effective / deep is the healing of a symptom.

The following is a general example for the thought process that I will go though when I treat a patient with a lower back condition, these are the areas I will assess and treat, using different styles of acupuncture, using local and distal acupuncture points and using some structural techniques that are derived from Osteopathy:
•    The sacrum.
•    The lower lumbar vertebras and the spine in general.
•    The feet, do they affect the lower back and knees?
•    Check the meridians that flow into the area of concern and regulate them.
•    Check and treat the energy of the Organ systems that may affect the area of symptoms.
( Spleen, Kidney, Bladder Meridians).
•    Treat the energy of the internal organs that affect the lower back If there is relationship with Menses (for Women) Treat reproductive systems as well.
•    Check for Digestive Issues – they might affect the lower back as well. ( The intestines are attached to the spine).
•    If there is stress in the body, treat the autonomic nervous system, Liver organ system and clear Emotional Blockages (using 5 elements style of acupuncture).
•    If there are any chronic conditions treat these, they might be impeding the healing of your body.
•    Use as many Holographic Images as possible, use Ear Acupuncture Holography for that area of concern.
This just represents a general thought process that is Holistic and which combine local acupuncture points and distal points of treatment, different layers in the body (Treating the layer of Muscles/Bones/Tendons ) and relevant Organ Systems to achieve a more substantial change in your health and in your symptoms.
You can try and read about how the ocean’s water feels like, How do they smell, How do they taste, How does the sunlight bounces from the waves as it touches your skin but the only way to really know the ocean is to step into it and feel these warm ocean waves for yourself.

If you haven’t experienced a holistic medicine session and in particular an Acupuncture Treatment that is practiced according to the traditional model of treatment, consider this to be a warm invitation to explore the amazing ocean and healing power of your own body.

By: Nir Saar R.Ac

Article originally appeared on Kitchener Chiropractor Massage therapist (http://targettherapeutics.com/).
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