She came through ER over the weekend for acute back and leg pain, and admitted for tests and meds. She was discharged on Monday, and back to ER on Thursday, without relief, asking to be guernied over to the pain clinic for acupuncture. She was wheeled into the the clinic mid-morning, crying and white-knuckling, begging for relief. The pain was rolling down her leg, from the hip to the toe, along the gall bladder meridian. I went up to her right ear and placed tiny needles that barely fit between my ring-size eleven fingers into 4 points on her ear, shen men (spirit gate) hip, leg and brain stem, and watched her hyper down, like an air mattress deflating. After a walk through of the 4 rooms manned by 4 acupuncture interns, I went back out and checked on our ER visitor. She was dozing fitfully. I reached down and pressed the gall bladder point in the hollow of her hip, and linked it up to the gall bladder point between his 4th and 5th toe, opening up the channel, and further reducing the pain. About 45 minutes later transport returned, to wheel her back to ER, leaving all the needles, and most of the pain behind.
The ear is a remarkable energetic keypad to body function. This was never more clear to me than when I visited a marine amputee at Bethesda Naval Hospital who was having trouble breathing. When he lost his legs he lost half his kidney meridians. In Chinese Medicine the Kidney Energy pulls down the breath. That's demonstrated with the slap over the kidneys that kick-starts a newborn's breath. I put a needle in the kidney point on this marine's ear and which immediately reversed his hyperventilation, and visibly settles his spirit. I look forward to wider use of this remarkable therapy in ER. fy
Sunday, April 15, 2012
...and 4 needles in the head can restore flexibility and eliminate pain instantly. I constantly work outside the comfort zone of belief, and history. It happened again at Stroger the other week when I had a patient walk into the pain clinic carrying the fragments of 9 bullets in his chest. About 23 years earlier I had seen Dr. Zhu use his style of scalp acupuncture on a wheel-chair bound victim of a "drive-by" and have him standing for the first time since he was shot (it always helps when you see what is possible first before you attempt to do it--replication, when done mindfully, is usually much easier than creation). When this patient comes back we will launch into the elegant and easy corrective exercises called Sotai, developed by Dr. Keizo Hashimoto, as well as continuing to use acupuncture to help him manage his pain, along with an orderly reduction of drug dependence, orchestrated by and coordinated with the M.D. side of the Pain Clinic. I dreamed of this kind of collaboration following my first internship in Guan Zhao University of TCM Hospital in 1998, while still working as a Class 4 Felon Acupuncturist in Illinois. The gods grind exceedingly slow, and exceedingly fine.
Most of our intakes at the Stroger County Hospital start with a simple request "Stick out your tongue please." After inspecting the tongue, and noting the color of the body and the coating, the shape, the sub-lingual veins, when then place 3 fingers on each wrist to determine the Chinese pulses for the Heart, Liver and Kidney on the left wrist and the Lung, Spleen and Kidney on the right wrist. Since all of our patients are on multiple meds for pain, depression, and other issues, one might wonder how unsullied the information normally gleaned from tongue and pulse analysis are as indicators of what is happening, and not happening inside the body. However, all else being equal, theoretically, with the addition of acupuncture and its potential to not merely reduce and in some cases eliminate pain and restore function though the mechanism of moving blood and bioenergy, these internal changes should also be reflected in the signposts of the tongue and pulses. Were they not observed carefully by our Stroger interns (read the description of the Dali Lama's physician taking the pulse at Johns Hopkins in "Mortal Lessons" by Dr. Selzer) we would not be able to record if, when, and why those subtle yet profound changes had taken place. drfy