I’d like to share a brief story about how acupuncture is really more than what meets the eye. Recently, I had a conversation with a dear patient of mine at the start of her session. We’ve been working together for quite some time and with great success she is now at the point of coming in only for maintenance. On this particular day, she inquired about a body worker who offers something different than acupuncture. I was happy (as I always am when talking about community practitioners) to offer a little information—and while I haven’t personally received this type of modality treatment, I could comfortably speak about the person in question. Then I asked her why she was asking? She let me know that there was a spot in her upper back near the top of her trapezius muscle that was constantly bothering her. I let her know this was the first time I had heard about it and she admitted that it hadn’t occurred to her to ask me about it. Here’s where the story gets good: using my hands, I pressed down on a few acupuncture points and asked if the tension area on her back had shifted. It had! With some surprise in her voice, she let me know the pain was relieved. We decided to use acupuncture to treat that problem area for that session, and I told her “All you have to do is ask.”
The conversation I had with this patient is common, and I have it every few weeks. One of the toughest parts of my job is letting my patients know how to use me and acupuncture—for whatever is ailing them. I imagine I should be more subtle than installing neon sign above my treatment room door that reads, JUST ASK! and so I’m writing this post. Most times the answer is yes, acupuncture can help you with ________ [insert your concern or issue]. It can be as specific as an area of pain or something more general like feeling tired. If you ask the question, I will offer my support. And if I can’t treat your condition with acupuncture, then I will do my best to find you another modality or practitioner who can. We’re in this together, so just ask.