Paul Schlosser, MD
Integrative Healthcare & Gynecology
Two Rivers Clinic
People across the world and across generations have long sought ways to live a healthier lifestyle and ultimately evade the ravages of disease. Beyond the rigorously scientific nature of medical acupuncture, lies an equally powerful metaphysical and spiritual part that simultaneously acts to help maintain and promote personal health.
But, how does it do this? How does it work? The short answer to this is by balancing the energetic flow of essential elements through the meridian system—akin to the neurologic or vascular system, through which flows “essential” elements such as body energy (Qi). Is this just double talk, confusing, purposeless nomenclature?
In creating a reasoned response to this question, one must first define some terms to be used in that discussion. Acupuncture, as described by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes a practice where several slender needles are inserted into well-defined points of the body to effect a desired response. The term “medical” acupuncture refers to a more recent blending of modern bioscience with traditional acupuncture theory.
As to my earlier question about “double talk”, I would contend that so much that is unfamiliar to us naturally encourages pessimism, skepticism and ultimately, if not rejection, then very slow acceptance.
This possible aversion to change may be what has slowed the use of acupuncture in this country, however this is not the case worldwide where acupuncture has long been used and appreciated. As many of you are aware, acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and as such is time tested. It has been proven to be uncommonly safe, therapeutic and extraordinarily flexible in addressing a vast spectrum of symptoms.
People commonly pause at this point and say to themselves, OK enough—how can it help me?
The short answer is by improving the quality of your life through symptom improvement, lessening of pain and improved fluidity. Health may be measured by words like “better” and not “cure”. Maybe back pain is connected to not just spinal stenosis or obesity, but also to frustration and melancholy. Maybe there is truth to the assertion that we are the subtotal of many highly complex interwoven processes. Think spider web—undeniably effective, but fragile. LIFE isn’t simple.
Mechanically, one tries to even out the flow of Chi (Qi) through the body’s meridians which flow from top to bottom and inside to outside. The lack of unimpeded free flow throughout the system is what gives rise to various symptoms of disharmony or pain.
Acupuncture famously jumped across the Atlantic when President Richard Nixon opened up relations with China—at first via ping-pong! Acupuncture is now gaining in appreciation and credibility in the United States as a non-pharmaceutical form of energy medicine. By that, I mean that it depends on harnessing and directing the body’s own internal, natural capacity to heal as opposed to relying overly on external forces like drugs. The beauty of this last statement is that it can largely do no harm, but simply help or have no effect. There is little to no downside to its use.
Importantly, I believe that it should be thought of as another treatment modality to be used simultaneously in conjunction with other treatment. It works well with Western medicine, chiropractic, oncology and neurology. In countries such as France, Germany and England, acupuncture is just another tool in the physician’s “black bag”.
It is not an issue of which treatment modality is better, but really how we can help the patient to maximize his or her sense of wellbeing and health.
“For me, deciding to pursue medical acupuncture as both a patient and medical doctor was an easy decision. Having lived in both worlds of medical intervention, I believe it represents a win-win situation.”
Dr. Paul Schlosser – Two Rivers Clinic
For information or to schedule an appointment:
715-855-8280 | www.tworiversclinic.com
Dr. Schlosser sees patients in Eau Claire.