01 Nov 2012


There’s a Lot More to Acupuncture Than Needles

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This blog post is part of our AOM Day Series on Qi. Get more here:

National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is observed annually on October 24. It is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

More and more people in the US receive acupuncture treatments as part of their regular health regimen. And new legislation, like the 2 bills signed by California Governor Jerry Brown in September, helps make acupuncture and Oriental medicine more available to patients by having insurance pay for these valuable therapies.

A survey by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) found that approximately one in ten adults had received acupuncture at least one time and 60% said they would readily consider acupuncture as a potential treatment option.

One patient who has seen tremendous improvements in her condition from regular acupuncture treatments is Temmie Silver.

The Los Angeles resident has been receiving treatments at Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic where her treatment plan is administered by third and fourth year students in the clinical phase of a four-year Oriental medicine program. Silver’s interns team with esteemed clinician Dr. Thom Nguyen, LAc, MD (Vietnam), a specialist in orthopedics and internal medicine.

In celebration of AOM Day, Temmie Silver shares her experience with acupuncture on Qi.

What improvements have you seen thanks to acupuncture treatments at Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic?

I started treatments in May of 2012 and since then I have noticed a lot of improvements. When I first came into the clinic I was suffering from pain down the left side of my leg, called the IT band, and the groin area. The pain originated higher up on the thigh, and when the intern pushed on the IT band I would be in extreme pain, almost jumping off the treatment table.

After receiving regular acupuncture treatments, I experience less and less pain in my leg in those areas. Doctor Thom Nguyen, LAc, MD (Vietnam), who supervises clinic interns at Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic on Saturday, has been a huge help in relieving my pain.

What have you learned about acupuncture and Oriental medicine through your treatments?

There’s a lot more to acupuncture than needles. The interns have also used tui na (a form of massage) and cupping to help treat my condition. They also used little seeds, called ear seeds, at different locations on my ears to relieve stress and pain and help with weight loss.

What would you tell someone who’s afraid of needles but would like to give acupuncture a try?

I am the biggest baby when it comes to needles, ask any of my three clinic interns at Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic. I can’t even look at a needle in me or anyone, not even on TV. But as I tell even my teenage daughters, I will do anything to get rid of this pain.

The needles hurt a lot less than any flu shot you’ll ever get. And they only hurt for a second when inserted, sometimes not even at all! The results outweigh that tiny bit of discomfort.

Why would you recommend seeing an acupuncturist to others?

I think seeing an acupuncturist is a great way to alleviate pain without drugs. I’m sure acupuncture and other Oriental medicine therapies would help many people who are looking for answers that they might not get from their Western doctors. I recommended acupuncture treatments to my cousin who is suffering from a lot of pains and arthritis. She is too young to be on all the prescription medications her doctor is recommending. I am a testament to the fact that there is a more natural way.

Temmie Silver is a patient in Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic, Santa Monica, California.

Photo courtesy of Temmie Silver.

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