I get asked quite frequently about where I am going to put needles. Frankly I like to let the patient know where I will be needling, especially with a first time patient. I think doing this alleviates any concern a patient has going into treatment. The biggest response I often get is, “why there and not here?”. This happens a lot when people have pain in a specific body area.
Often with an injury I will needle near the area of pain using a treatment formula to alleviate a knot or help heal a sprain. But many times I am not needling into the pain or around the pain or near the pain. Why? Because frankly that can hurt quite a bit. Sometimes treatment is uncomfortable at the beginning and relieves as time passes. There are formulas wherein I treat the mirrored side of the body. There is a whole system of acupuncture that uses this theory. The oddest for the patient may be in that I use needles in ankles to treat areas of the neck and shoulder. The one I think I enjoy the most is using points on the back of the hand to alleviate neck pain.
Face it, this is why you come to me. To alleviate your pain.
I spent almost four years earning my Master of Acupuncture degree. I attend continuing education classes to learn new systems and theories to help my patients thrive. I also learn through treating more people. I discover combinations that are good together. I write them down, I remember them for future consideration.
People expect the needle to go where there is pain. Often that will bring more pain. My goal is to alleviate pain. Not cause more pain.
There are multiple theories on where to treat and how to treat. I ask questions and palpate the injured area to ascertain what is happening in the body. I then consult my knowledge base which often involves checking out some point information; taking a few minutes to formulate the treatment. I also take into consideration the patient. Knowing what works with them and what does not work with them. This is all added together to design the treatment to alleviate your neck pain.
So the next time I ask you to take off your shoes and I put needles in your feet to relieve your headache, think WOW, that’s really cool. Because you know what, it is really cool.