Jun 2, 2022

To most people, acupuncture is used to treat pain. I'm sure you may have heard that acupuncture treats "this and that" pain "very well". However this is not sufficient to justify the use of acupuncture over other methods. Heck, you could go to your nearest drug store and buy some pain killers and that would be effective too and frankly speaking probably more effective sometimes!!! Jokes aside, in other words, if you have pain how do you know the advantage of acupuncture versus other methods?

First you have to understand, there are many many types of acupuncture out there. While others may disagree, to me, as far as I know, they are all one and the same in terms of the theory behind their use. Please note that acupuncture is just the use of the acupuncture needle, the theory and method behind how it is used is really what separates A from B. Frankly speaking, it isn't uncommon that I hear from patients that they had acupuncture and it didn't work. They either told me directly after I asked them or if they didn't tell me it would have to be the only logical choice because they didn't go back to the practitioner, given that practitioner is still practicing, and that my fees are sort of higher.

Broadly speaking there are only 2 types of acupuncture, one that sees the problem as is, and one that sees the problem from beyond the problem. Neither one nor the other is superior, they are only different in terms of when they should be used and not used and when to be used together. Both require skill of the same level. However, problems that are "as is", that they are stand alone, and have nothing to do with the rest of the patient are the minority, based on experience. The rest are all problems that stem from deeper problems. The problem the patient come for is only the alarm bell. In other words, you can't shut the alarm bell if you don't know what's sounding the alarm. Yet, the "fastest" method, is to break the alarm, or take out the batteries?! In Chinese culture, the idiom goes, "if a thief comes into your abode the only thing you have to do to make it disappear is to cover your eyes and ears". Yes if you follow that then all your belongings will disappear together too!!!

Acupuncture can be very easy or very hard. All depends on how the practitioner wants to view it. Unfortunately more and more practitioners prefer the former. I remember when I started practising Chinese Medicine many years ago, I went for training in "special" acupuncture methods that are purported to "kill" pains "instantly". After I finished the training I got back and started using this method quite extensively. Initially I was quite proud of how effective it was. Gradually I realized it was lacking a lot in depth. At that time, it was a common method employed by many acupuncturists in North America to get "high volume" turnaround---sort of like fast food. Yes fast food is convenient, fills you up, but doesn't quite solve your nutritional needs.(of course taking it for long time is a detriment to one's health too). At last, I realized it was just an analgesic at best, and unfortunately I think because of the typical mentality of many practitioners in achieving just this that it bred sort of the mindset the general public has towards acupuncture, that it is "good for pain"(only....). Problems came back quickly, so I'm sure that patients would ask, well how long do I have to come to get more a longer term solution? To an acupuncturist---that is speaking about getting to the 'root' of the problem. I would say few think about these things, not just acupuncturists but likely other health care professionals---certainly not the typically mindset of privatised healthcare environment(Medical Doctors, on the public spectrum, don't even think about this, why would privatised health care people? Not a surprise).

In my later studies and encounters and even up to this day, methods similar to this are still out there. Today I don't use this method much anymore, save for some special situations. Yet results haven't been worse, in fact, because from viewing the problem in a deeper perspective, results are much longer lasting.