hiropractic shares many similarities with acupuncture. The Chinese look at a patient and see four important aspects of man. To the Chinese doctor, man is:
1. Electrical – Acupuncture points are electro-energy points. There is a two-way communication between the skin and all organs, glands, and tissues of the body. By stimulating certain skin points, the progress of a condition may not only be arrested, but even reversed, bringing the patient back to health with normal function. Electrical energy flows along channels or meridians, which may be measured electronically. Of course, chiropractic has always been concerned with nerve function which may be affected by irritation due to spinal derangements. Spinal manipulation has been an integral part of Chinese medicine for 4,000 years.
2. Structural – As stated above, spinal manipulation has long been an important part of acupuncture. Chiropractors actually are not “bone doctors” after all. We focus on the spine because it is the major source or nerve irritation, which may affect function. The spinal malfunction can alter electrical function, which affects the acupuncture meridians. You can see how they work together.
3. Biochemical - This is the area which Western medicine has directed most of its attention. However, there is more to it than just medication. Nutrition and herbs are important also. Spinal malfunction can cause biochemical changes in nerves and tissues. Stress hormones and toxins accumulate in nerves which are irritated by spinal derangements.
4. Psyche or the Mind – It is a fact that how we think affects our body chemistry and function. The Chinese have long recognized this, and Western medical schools are now teaching body-mind aspects of health. Unfortunately, in the past many only thought of this connection in a negative way toward patients. It can be a plus, if understood.
Western medicine usually only sees #3. The structural aspect has only been recognized in large part regarding conditions requiring surgery, as in orthopedics. There is the psychiatric field, but it is separated from the rest. Electrical activity has been measured, as in EKG’s of the heart, EEG’s of the brain, and EMG’s of the muscle. But this appreciation of the body’s electrical properties have usually been confined to just diagnosis. We need to look at the whole person.
The Four Stages of Disease
1. Cause – this is the basic interruption of normal function
2. Disordered function
4. Organ failure and pathology
Patients usually don’t see a doctor until they are in stage 3. The true definition of health is all parts of the body functioning normally and in harmony. Since disease starts as a functional disorder and ultimately leads to pathological breakdown, it is best to restore function as early as possible. You already knew that.
Stress is the main cause of malfunction and physiology gone wrong
These are some causes:
2. Extreme temperature changes
5. Lack of exercise
6. Internal environmental stress such as smoking, drinking, drugs, etc.
7. External environmental stress like pollution, unsanitary conditions, etc.
These may all upset your body’s ability to function normally. Naturally, managing these stress factors will aid in recovery and prevent future problems. Don’t wait until you enter stage 3.
Types of acupuncture training
As we mentioned earlier, spinal manipulation or “T’uina” is important. That’s the chiropractic component. Stimulating the proper acupuncture points may be done with many methods. The method is not as important as knowing which points to treat. There are nine classical needles, one of which is non-piercing. This is called the Teishin, and one we use. Electronic stimulation is the other method we use, and this is the most exciting advance in acupuncture. With these methods treatment is less intimidating for some, and we don’t have to worry about the risk of infection. The results are just as good according to many experts. Acupuncture points may also be stimulated with massage, pinching, percussion, heat, cold laser, and many others. That’s a plus for you, because we can show you how to do some things to help yourself at home.
Our acupuncture training
Our teacher is Dr. Richard Yennie, who practices in Kansas City. Dr. Yennie was injured in a Judo tournament while in Japan as an interpreter for the war crimes trials. He was hospitalized, but nothing was working, until his Judo instructor brought his doctor in to treat him with acupuncture. It worked. He then enrolled in chiropractic college. Dr. Yennie is probably the one man most responsible for bringing acupuncture to the U.S. He brings doctors in from China to teach us, which is invaluable.
How are acupuncture treatments performed?
After the skin points are determined, we can use one of over 30 methods of stimulation. The most common technique we use a more modern approach of Electrical Stimulation of the specific points. This technique is safer than using needles, there is no danger of infection, no blood, and the technique is virtually painless. The results are equal to, if not better than the majority of other acupuncture techniques.
What can we treat?
There are over 2,000 conditions known to be helped. We have a prescription text with the combined protocols of doctors over hundreds of years. It is also interesting that several treatment systems in acupuncture have direct correlation with chiropractic. The points coincide with the neurological relationships at the spine where the nerves emit to certain organs, glands, and tissues. Certainly there are some patients we cannot help. Some patients do best with a combination of our treatment and care from their MD or DO. We are for anyone who is helping patients get well, and there are more and more MD’s who understand the value of chiropractic and acupuncture.