My treatment philosophy
Every therapist's views on health and disease determine their approach to healing. Here are my views, and what I strive for when I treat my clients.
Health is more than just being free of pain or physical discomfort. It means well-being on every level: physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual.
Health is never static. It is a constant search for equilibrium which continues as long as we're alive. That includes bouncing back from infections, healing quickly and with minimal or no complications from injuries, and the ability to adapt to changing life circumstances. These changes could be everyday stuff, like change of temperature, weather and seasons, or deeper changes that occur as we age, change of career or place of living, the birth of a child, death of a loved one or the beginning or end of a relationship.
Disease is a signal
Any dis-ease or symptom is a signal that tries to tell us that something is not going right. Put more technically, it points to an energetic imbalance. Once this imbalance is corrected and the need for the signal diminishes, the symptom naturally subsides or gets easier to live with. Acupuncture is a very sensible and effective way of correcting these imbalances and addressing symptoms.
Medicina curat, natura sanat
This Latin saying means: Medicine cures, but only nature heals. This applies to all treatment methods, from the most modern to the most ancient ones. A good therapist will support and facilitate healing processes and educate clients about their constitution and the nature of their disease, so they don't unknowingly continue to harm themselves.
“Rooting the Spirit”
One of the oldest and even today most relevant acupuncture manuals, the Ling Shu (aptly named “Spiritual Pivot”) – states in a very central position: “For every needling, the method above all is not to miss the Rooting of the Spirit.”
I try to live up to that standard.
What this means for you as a patient is probably best expressed by many current and past patients, who report a few weeks into their acupuncture treatment: “I feel a lot more like myself, like I used to be before XYZ happened.” That is what is meant by Rooting of the Spirit. It means putting the best part of you back in the driver’s seat of your life, so that your life is run less by other people’s expectations or your conditioning (‘autopilot’), and more by your ability to adapt to your environment while staying true to your original nature – who you really are deep inside.
Every acupuncture point can affect the body, mind and Spirit at the same time. When used in this fashion, acupuncture boosts the patient’s innate healing mechanisms and creates a sense of peaceful calm and focus. That puts you in the best position to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, and is said to be the highest form of medicine.
(Just for the record, acupuncture that aims at preventing disease is said to belong to the second class of medicine, and symptom control – treatment that is aimed only at restoring function once the patient has fallen ill – is considered to be lowest class of medicine. Achieving this without drugs is still pretty cool, but why would I want settle for that if I can really help my patients make a positive change in their lives at the same time?!)
"Root and branches"
The root and branches principle is an important strategy of good medicine.
Picture a tree: If a tree's leaves turn yellow, painting over the leaves or cutting off the branches won't solve the problem of why the leaves turned yellow in the first place. The treatment that helps the tree to shake off its disease must be directed at the root, because that's where all its power and "juice" come from. A good gardener will know whether the tree needs more or less water, more or less sunlight, and which nutrients are missing. When the root of the tree gets proper nourishment and the tree itself more favourable conditions, its leaves turn lush green again, and its health is restored. Bugs will stop bugging the tree, because they have to work too hard on this one that they’ll prefer to attack weaker plants.
Moreover, any tree that wants to grow tall needs a strong root, or it will be uprooted by the wind. I feel people are a lot like trees: They, too, need a strong root to grow "tall".
For your acupuncture treatment, this means: In each treatment, first your overall energy level is increased by an acupuncture "root treatment". This alone already relieves many symptoms. After that, any remaining symptoms will be addressed with a "branch treatment".