The first time I had ever received acupuncture was at an open house at the Southern California University of Health Sciences in 2005. A friend had just been accepted into their Chiropractic program and I accompanied them to check out the campus. In addition to touring the chiropractic facilities, we received a presentation on traditional Chinese medicine. We visited the herb garden full of foreign looking plants and walked by charts mapping points on the human body. I was so intrigued! Up until then, all I knew about acupuncture was that it involved sticking needles in people. I hadn’t the slightest idea why anyone would do such a thing. No one I knew had tried it before. It was not something that was ever suggested by any health care practitioner I had encountered or heard about in the media. At that point, I had had success with homeopathic and Bach flower remedies, so was open to alternative medicines. When the older Chinese professor giving a demonstration asked for a volunteer, I jumped on the opportunity. He inserted a needle to the side of my elbow and described the functions of that point. He mentioned that the point helped with sore throat. That same morning, I had woken up with a sore throat and was worried I would end up with a cold. My eyes widened in disbelief when I saw him pull the needle out. The needle had gone in about an inch in depth but I did not feel a thing! Later that day, I noticed that my sore throat was gone. From that day forward, I was convinced of its value as an effective form of medicine, and I knew that wanted to learn everything I could about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Fast forward twelve years to 2017. Acupuncture is now covered by most health insurance companies and by MediCal in California. Companies like Kaiser Permanente have acupuncturists on staff. Major medical centers like Stanford (here) and the Cleveland Clinic (here) have departments that integrate acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. When I talk to people about acupuncture, the response is no longer “What’s that?” Instead, it’s something like, “It helped my mom’s knee pain when nothing else would”, or “I swear by acupuncture, it’s amazing!”, or “I’ve heard so many good things about it, I’ve been meaning to try it out.” Celebrities will step out onto the red carpet with cupping marks on their backs and post selfies with needles in their face. Just this month, the FDA is now recommending to physicians that they refer patients to acupuncture before prescribing opioids (article). This is major!!

I cannot wait to see where this medicine is in 10 years. Right now, just about everyone has heard how effective acupuncture is for pain. I hope that in 10 years, people are not only turning to acupuncture and herbal medicine for pain, but for everything else that ails them. Traditional Chinese Medicine treats every form of dis-ease, including:

Orthopedics:

  • Arthritis
  • Back, Neck, Knee, and Elbow Pain
  • Muscle Pain, Cramping, and Weakness
  • Sciatica
  • Sports Medicine
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Fibromyalgia

Digestive Disorders:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation / Diarrhea
  • IBS
  • IBD / Crohns / Colitis
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Indigestion / GERD

Women’s Health:

  • PMS
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Menopause
  • Perimenopause
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy
  • Post-Partum Recovery
  • PCOS / Endometriosis / Fibroids

Psycho-Emotional:

  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Stress
  • Excess Emotions: Anger, Worry, Fear, Sadness

Respiratory:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Common Colds / Flus

Neurological / Sensory:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Stroke
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Vision
  • Hearing Loss
  • Tinnitus

Miscellaneous:

  • Fatigue
  • Immune System Regulation
  • Libido
  • Hypertension
  • Hepatitis
  • Weight Loss
  • Pre- and Post-Operative Pain and Recovery

Leave a Reply