In my acupuncture practice, I like to emphasize the importance of health as something that is a work in progress, and continues after the patient leaves the treatment table. This involves making changes, and often, it seems overwhelming to make a positive change in your life with all the steps involved.
A couple of years ago, a patient of mine was having issues with weight loss. She told me that it was really difficult to not eat certain things that she knew she shouldn’t eat. She was a pastry chef, so she was surrounded by sweet confections all the time, and the idea of not eating those things wasn’t an option for her at that time of her life.
Using sugar as an example, most of us know by now that sugar is very addictive. The more the body receives sugar, the more the body craves the next serving. While in the process of trying to cut out sugar, a good thing to try might be to focus on doing adding something that’s good for you, instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t have. Try adding sweet potatoes into the diet, or greens such as kale, collards, or dandelion greens. As you focus on making positive changes instead of avoiding the negative, you will feel a sense of accomplishment in what you are doing. And, when better foods are added to the diet, you will have more energy, and the cravings for sweets will lesson.
Next time you are looking to make a change, how about focusing on adding a positive habit, instead of being hard on yourself for doing something that you shouldn’t?
In my acupuncture practice, my time is often spent doing more than just inserting the needles. A considerable amount the hour session is spent in dialogue. Patients come in, wanting to be empowered by making changes after they leave my office.
In trying to figure out how to enhance my practice by optimizing the patient experience on their journey to health, I have slowly been introducing a dietary and lifestyle outline to patients. Food and diet have always been a passion for me, and for almost half my life, I’ve studied nutrition on my own. Recently, one of my patients, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, asked me what he could do on his own to feel better. He has a stressful job, and is a father to 3 young children. He wanted to implement some changes in his diet and lifestyle, but didn’t really know how to begin. His personalized outline included recommended dietary additions, foods to eliminate, books/blogs to read, and inspirational videos to watch. He took these recommendations very seriously. The outline spawned changes that he was able to implement immediately, and he has since been passionately furthering his knowledge on his own. His symptoms have since lessened, and, though this is not a cure for his disease, he feels stronger, empowered, and more positive about his situation.
As an alternative medicine practitioner, our work often goes beyond what we are trained to do. Part of ‘medicine’ is knowing that your patients are being heard and understood. My goal with each and every one of my patients is that they understand that they can do something to make themselves feel better even after the needles have come out. They feel empowered and in more control of their health and want to continue with these changes. These are the kinds of people who are coming through my door these days; those who want to achieve maximum wellness while feeling empowered to make changes…for better health.
I don’t think I’m alone here when I say that ‘Needle’ is a terrible word for the tool that we use. Let’s face it: the word, ‘needle’ invokes fear and causes negative associations with experiences in hospitals and doctors’ offices, when immunizations are given or blood is drawn.
Let’s start with a quick lesson in needle gauges. The diameter of a needle is determined by its’ gauge. Typical medical needles range from 7 gauge, (the largest) to 33 gauge, (the smallest). 21 gauge needles are most commonly used for drawing blood, and 16-17 gauge needles are used for blood donation.
The higher the gauge number, the smaller the needle width.
In my office, I use either 38 or 40 gauge acupuncture needles. Acupuncturists often describe them as being ‘hair-like, or ‘hair-fine’. They are not as thin as hair, but if you can think of a very thin, pliable wire that bends with the slightest pressure against the skin, that is an acupuncture needle.
For a while, I was surveying my patients to see what they felt an appropriate name would be to replace ‘needle’. My favorite one was ‘micro-filament’. I also like ‘wire’.
Hello, and welcome to the official blog of Acupuncture of Boston at Healthy Channels! The wheels have been turning for a long time about this blog, and my goal is for this blog to be a source of information not only on Acupuncture, but about healthy living.
I hope you find this blog useful, and if you do, please share it with your friends and family. If you have any ideas of what you would like to read about in this blog, please send me a message and I will do my best to address your topic of choice.
Until then, stay tuned!
Yours in Good Health,