I met someone recently who, upon my telling her that I perform acupuncture, immediately asked, “Does that mean you have a crystal ball?” I’m sorry if this disappoints anyone, but the answer is no. Does acupuncture seem to fly in the face of traditional medical practice in this country? Yes. Is it based on something other than the time-honed experimentation and practice that Western medicine is? No. The truth is, acupuncture has the same history of inquiry and development as any science. While it may not appear to be as advanced as the multi-million dollar equipment found in most hospitals, acupuncturists 4,000 years ago used their intelligence and Eastern sensibilities in lieu of x-rays to develop techniques that have been honed since then and continue to be perfected today in acupuncture clinics all over the world.
Acupuncturists have a mystical stigma that sometimes distracts from their relevance to health today. The fact that acupuncture was developed a long time ago and on the other side of world, that it seems not to utilize modern instruments and technology, and that it is based on the central principle of Qi (pronounced “chee”) might suggest that it is an experimental treatment that relies more on false hope than measured success. The truth is, acupuncture is always evolving to encompass new techniques and breakthroughs, thanks to the current acupuncturists who are healing patients, developing new techniques in acupuncture clinics, and contributing to the body of Eastern holistic medical literature. And Qi? It’s a fact: we are coursing with energy that makes possible all that our bodies do. If you’ve ever seen an EKG of your heart, that’s a picture of the electrical energy powering us! Acupuncture provides a means of channeling that energy, and directing it towards and away from particular areas in our bodies, which assists in healing. If you can imagine sticking a fork in an electrical socket, the instruments of acupuncture are working on that same principle—channeling energy through the body. Believe me, practicing acupuncture and seeing its healing power is just as shocking (but without the pain).
One notable difference between Western medicine and Eastern medicine is the concept of holistic healing. Anybody who has ever been to a busy general practitioner, sat in tiny room wearing a paper gown, and been handed a prescription after five minutes of an impersonal conversation about symptoms knows that Western medicine is oftentimes a cold process that may make one feel more like a broken machine than a human in need of healing. Eastern medicine views body and mind processes in a dynamic way, always taking into consideration the subject – you – instead of the ailment or the illness in isolation. At my acupuncture clinic in Orlando, I will treat you with respect and consideration, and like the complex, unique human being that you are. You are not broken or defective; the power to achieve healing and wellness is inside you, and I can help you harness it.