I wanted to go to nursing school because as a kid knew I wanted to be in the health care field, so I thought nursing would be good. I could become a nurse practitioner working the emergency room. But after visiting a few hospitals during that initial period, I realized Western medicine wasn’t in line with my philosophy about healthcare. You see, I didn’t want to spend twelve hours a day in a clinical setting. I wanted to spend an hour with a patient and really help change their day to day lives – their quality of life.
When we were kids, if we got sick my mother would load us up with Vitamin C and Echinacea instead of rushing us to the doctor. Ironically, she was part of the Western healthcare environment as a respiratory therapist in a hospital, but she was very much in tune with the power of integrative medicine. So as a kid, I already knew that alternative medicine worked, and knew I wanted to make it a part of what I did day-to-day. This had a lot to do with becoming an acupuncturist in Orlando.
As they say: The rest is history!
People are starting to realize that Western medicine doesn’t always work for them. A lot of my patients are already on meds when they come in. Some have had invasive procedures and they’ve realized it hasn’t quite worked for them. -CP
In Chinese medicine, we attempt to get to the root cause of the problem to find out WHY a patient is having a particular imbalance in the first place. Interestingly enough, many times our role is helping them get better in conjunction with Western medicine.
Many of my patients that come for migraines, as well as depression, are already taking many different medications. So, what we do is integrate alternative health care methods (herbs, acupuncture, cupping, injection therapy, etc.,) so they can improve their quality of life by hopefully getting off the prescription drugs.
One of my favorite things is treating fertility. It’s very rewarding for me to play a role in helping someone who is coping with infertility start a family. Many of my fertility patients are already undergoing IUI and IVF procedures, but they seek Chinese medicine because they’ve heard or read how acupuncture combined with IUI or IVF dramatically increases the chances of getting pregnant. This is another way Chinese medicine and Western medicine are integrated and compliment each other.
When a patient comes in the first time we always do a full initial intake. What that means is I sit down with them for no less than 30 minutes and go over all of the different health aspects. For example, let’s say they come in for migraines… We obviously address the migraine, but we also talk about their digestion, their energy level, their sleeping habits, etc., etc., so we can get a clear picture of what exactly they have going on. You see, there are many reasons why someone might have a particular ailment, and I consider it a disservice treating the symptom alone. Acupuncturists are trained to seek what is causing the ailment in the first place and build up and out from there.
It is rare when someone has multiple health issues that are not somehow correlated. In Chinese medicine, particular organ systems are responsible for particular functions in the body. For example, if someone suffers from both TMJ and anxiety, we treat them together, and it is highly likely they are correlated. In Western medicine the patient gets treated for both conditions by different doctors because they are considered totally isolated ailments. However, time and time again, we find with our patients that they are correlated and part of the SAME underlying imbalance. It’s not unusual for patients to tell us they are sleeping much better as a byproduct of the treatments they received for the original health complaint.
I’d say I have the most rewarding job in the world, because together with the rest of the acupuncture community we truly make a difference!