Nicknames that Patients Give for Certain Acupuncture Treatments
Patients shave come up with special “nicknames” for certain acupuncture treatments that I perform in my office in Ridgewood, NJ, in Bergen County. When you’ve been treating people with acupuncture you get comments like “Wow! I must look like a porcupine” on a regular basis. Nicknaming treatments is jsut par for the course in treatment. Coming up with these special names are actually good way to highlight certain treatment strategies that we commonly use in acupuncture needling for treating different conditions. Using different treatments are common patterns that are used in treating.
1.Catfish treatment: Needling the points on the face is always a fearful experience but in actuality if you stretch the skin, you barely feel the insertion of the needle. On the sides of the nose there exist two points called “Welcome Fragrance” which is found on the sides of the nose. This point helps clear the nose and is helpful for clearing the sinuses. Additionally, a point that found on the upper side of the nostrils is also an image of the energy centers of the body called the adrenal glands. Using this point is helpful in increasing circulation to the adrenal glands which are the glands found above the kidneys and are responsible for reducing cortisol, boosting energy, improving sleep and regulating blood sugar.
Now what many don’t understand is that acupuncture points do not have to be placed directly over the area of the problem to treat the problem. You can use points that are far away to create a reaction through signaling the brain by affecting different areas of the body.
There are four things that we can prove via blood test that acupuncture can do.
- Repair damaged tissue and creates new healthy tissue. Acupuncture does this by stimulating muscles to increase collagen production.
- Improves your nervous and endocrine system. This helps you relax and turn of the brain, helps your educe cortisol, reduce inflammation and helps move blood through the body to send different hormones that tell the body what to improve on.
- Vasodilate your injured body part: Vasodilation is relaxing the blood vessels so it increases blood flow to the area of injury. In Western medicine they treat pain by trying to blood the pain by reducing your sensation to it. In Chinese medicine, they developed a totally different approach. They learned that increasing blood flow and doing it enough times over, helps speed up and repair the injured body part.
- Reduces swelling in the nerve endings that keep sending pain signals to the brain.
2. Hourglass treatment: Adding in another point just to the inside of the eyebrow, helps treat the sinuses in the forehead area creating an hourglass look! Both points work great for sinus problems both the upper and lower sinuses.
3. Beard treatment: These two points found on the lower lips, have been termed the “beard”. These two points are found the outside of the lower lips. If you have lower back discomfort, achiness, or pain, or if there is a weakness in the back area, these points will help treat the lower back. They arealso very powerful points for strengthening the adrenal glands. These two points help lower the stress hormone that rises when stress is constantly affecting you, called cortisol. These two points help stimulate energy by stimulating the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are the two glands that sit above the kidneys that are responsible for dealing with stress. Under our current lifestyle, everyone runs out of “juice” sooner or later and are affected with fatigue, tiredness, and poor sleep. Finally, these two points are very good for the treatment of asthma. So my patients always joke with me and say. “Take a little off the top of my head, cut the sideburns tight and give me a beard”!
3. Hellraiser: Clive Barker’s British horror franchise has drilled the picture of the cenobite pinhead, the demons that came from another hell dimension. No matter what I do, if I place any needles in the head, then patients let me know that they feel like they are reenacting the movie Hellraiser. Let’s face it; we don’t needle the points to reenact the movie, but to heal you! Needling the points in the top of the head has been dubbed by my patients as the “Hellraiser treatment”. When I put needles in the scalp, it has a great reaction of releasing the endorphins causing you to relax, sleep better, calm your jittery nerves or soothe your troubled mind. I use several needles in the head to treat menopause insomnia, anxiety, over worry. Simply put when a person is overwhelmed by their situation, adding in a few points in the head, helps to soothe you in a profound way, giving you the reprieve you need to get the perspective to get to that higher place in your thinking. So out of a dark movie can come the soothing ring of calm!
4. Happy birthday points: I once was treating a man on his birthday. When asking him if he was doing anything special for his birthday, he said no he had no time and his headaches have been “killing him”. I needled one point on the side of the fingertips of one hand. He lifted his hand, and he said, “Hey you know these are my happy birthday points!” Thus, the name of the treatment was coined! I use these points to help oxygenate the brain so they are especially good for headaches, mania, and anxiety. I also use the points when there is pain on the opposite end of the meridian pathway to help reduce pain as a guiding point on the affected limb or area. They can also be used to help rouse people when in coma or a very stupor state. He actually was smiling as the treatment concluded. When I asked him why, he said he felt great and has not had this kind of relief in a long time. Now that’s a nice birthday present if I do say so myself.
If the thought of putting a needle into the fingers, makes you cringe, note that I use small ear needles. To make this treatment palatable to the patient, is to needle the side of the finger, between the red and white skin, so that it minimizes the pain. I have a patient with a concussion, where he gets dizziness, crippling headaches, and sensitivity to light. By needling these points as part of the treatment , I can positively treat the brain, the eyes and the senses by needling these points in the fingers and reducing his concussion symptoms.
I hope this helps you get a better glimpse of the tapestry of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and using nicknames for points are great ways to explain acupuncture treatments to people. I love having fun when treating patients, it helps them relax, it gives them the freedom to express themselves and not take life so seriously. It is this playful state that invites healing. You can’t heal when you are always wound up tight. Teaching acupuncture to patients so they get that “aha” moment is always something I treasure. So if you feel intimidated by acupuncture, know that there is a healing and a jovial side to the treatments that helps foster your quest for staying healthy.
Do you have a specific question about acupuncture? If so, call me at 201-444-7150. I am never too busy to help you!