Acupuncture and “Serious” Degenerative & Autoimmune Conditions
I am very excited to share my experience treating patients with so-called “serious” conditions, such as autoimmune, cancer and degenerative diseases. My excitement comes from the positive healing experiences I’ve witnessed treating these conditions with acupuncture.
The power of acupuncture lies in its ability to fortify and rebuild the body’s self-healing mechanism, while expelling pathogens (toxins) damaging the tissues, blood and organs. Strategies within Chinese Medicine acknowledge the need to support the body’s strength when eradicating harmful pathogenic factors causing disease and degeneration. A delicate balance must be maintained during treatment to prevent a further weakening of a patient’s system while trying to clear inflammation or break up toxins, tumors or accumulations.
Chinese Medicine was developed during the Han Dynasty of 200 B.C.E. This was an agrarian society which was centered around agriculture and very connected to the land. Pathogens, viewed through germ theory within the Western Medical tradition, are seen as wind, cold, heat and dampness within Chinese Medicine. The ancient Chinese viewed the human body as a microcosm of the Earthly elements. Therefore the body was seen to possess “weather,” just like the Earth. A “wind” condition is seen as such from the nature of how it presents. Wind moves and travels, it can come on sudden, and it is often volatile and unpredictable. Cold causes things to become stuck, putting out the healthy heat of the body. Dampness congeals; it is wet and is often sticky and heavy. Heat consumes, it is hot, red and often very volatile. Germ theory can be seen through the filter of Chinese Medicine, just as the climatic factors of Chinese Medicine can be viewed through the filter of the germ theory.
Treatment through acupuncture aims to expel these pathogenic factors from the body to prevent further damage. In actuality, acupuncture supports the body in doing this itself. The body possesses self-healing, self-regulating and defensive mechanisms to prevent and resolve any pathogenic invasion. It is only when the body is over-run by a particularly strong pathogen, or when the body is weak that it requires the help of medical intervention. Chinese medicine intervenes to support the natural mechanisms of the body in healing itself.
The body possesses many ways of expelling harmful pathogens. When the body is strong, a wind-cold or wind-heat (viral or bacterial) pathogen is released from the body via the fluid system. The body sweats, sneezes or urinates the pathogen out of the body. However, if the immune system, associated with the Lung and Large Intestine Channels within acupuncture, are weak, a pathogen can gain entrance into the deeper layers of the body. This process creates inflammation, which ultimately consumes the resources of the body. The system becomes weakened, while the pathogen becomes lodged. Degeneration begins to occur: the body’s strength diminishes, while intermittent attacks occur. The condition seems to come and go, all the while reeking unseen damage on the interior of the body.
Acupuncture helps to reverse the process of degeneration. The inflammation is cleared. To do this however, the body must be supported in creating adequate fluids to expel the heat. The system is strengthened at the same time it is purged. The immune energy must also be supported, so as to prevent the treatment from further weakening the patient.
I’ve seen numerous patients who’ve complained treatment from their Western doctors have drastically weakened their systems, sometimes seeming as if the treatment was hurting them more than the condition. Side-effects of drugs and surgeries are common complaints of patients.
Acupuncture treatment merely supports the body’s innate self-healing mechanisms. It does not put the added stress on the body. Medications and surgeries have helped numerous people heal, however they can also put more stress on the body during the healing process. Medications need to be metabolized: this can put tremendous stress on already weakened digestive systems, further draining much needed energy. Surgeries damage the tissues of the body, requiring additional energy to repair. For a patient suffering from a degenerative disease, they may not possess the energy reserves to devote to the added stress brought on by medications and surgeries.
Acupuncture allows the body to do what it knows how to do: maintain health and restore natural order. When there is excess heat or dampness in the digestive system, the body in its innate wisdom, causes diarrhea to flush it out. When there is wind or cold in the lungs, the body coughs it out in the form of phlegm. No matter how serious the pathogen, the mechanisms for clearing remain the same. No foreign substance need be injected or swallowed to allow this healing to occur. Mere topical stimulation on acupuncture points on the skin can spark the immune system to regain its power to heal itself. This is the reason there are so few side-effects to acupuncture treatment. Nothing is added but energetic support, which reminds the body to do what it knows how to do better than any outside human medical mind.
Once the inflammation is cleared from the body, treatment can focus on resolving the root cause of the condition. Causes can be from external or internal toxins. Pollution, poisoning and weather are examples of external causes; while the emotions, diet and lifestyle are internal causes.
The true goal of acupuncture treatment is eradication of the process that has caused the condition to manifest altogether. This is why there is such a strong psycho-emotional aspect to acupuncture treatment. Often it is a patient’s lifestyle or unresolved emotions that cause their medical conditions. Lifestyle choices must be examined. Emotions must be resolved.
Acupuncture is empowerment therapy. It educates patients about their bodies; helps people own their emotions and gain control of their choices. It empowers people to free themselves from the forces that weaken them. This is also the image of the acupuncture needle in treatment. The needle does not put anything into the body: it merely empowers the body and mind to regain control and claim responsibility for its own health and healing. It is one of the most natural, organic healing modalities in existence: and also one of the most effective.