Eight months after being involved in a serious auto accident, I was introduced to Traditional Chinese Medicine. After relying on more conventional methods, to no avail, I was ready to try anything. I’d heard about Acupuncture and Chinese herbs but really didn’t know anything about them. When I began a series of treatments with a licensed acupuncturist my level of pain, range of motion, and ability to function improved dramatically. With this kind of medicine, mental and emotional aspects of my injuries, which I’d never thought to discuss with any of my doctors, resolved as well. The process of trying to recover from my accident had consumed my life and identity. Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Tui Na (medicinal massage) and other TCM techniques gave me my life back.
It had been difficult to explain to others what was wrong with me. I looked fine; no casts or visible contusions. But I had extensive soft tissue injuries. The muscles, ligaments and tendons, that are meant to hold bones in place, were stretched and weakened.
Sleeping was awful. I couldn’t stay in any one position for even short periods of time without pain. I had muscle spasms so severe they showed up on my MRI. Getting up in the morning, or after sitting for any length of time was excruciating. I had bulging discs. I was in my early 30’s and felt like I had aged beyond my years. Acupuncture and herbal formulas were able to treat each of these issues. I saw steady improvement with my appointments.
What you don’t really hear about are the other aspects of trauma. The stress, fatigue, brain fog, cognitive impairment, and at times the inability to control emotions. Acupuncture and herbs addressed each of these concerns like no other medicine I’d tried. As my treatments continued the feelings of being overwhelmed, isolated and depressed receded.
Even problems I thought were completely unrelated to my accident started to clear up. After the accident my eyes weren’t focusing as they should, especially when I was tired.
The treatments that were giving my body what it needed to heal from the accident also helped my vision, digestion, insomnia, stress, pain, allergies, UTI’s, sweet cravings, memory issues, and my immune system.
But one of the most wonderful gifts TCM gave me after the first treatment was hope.
Physical trauma can cause emotional trauma and vise versa. TCM addresses both. Over the years I’ve seen cases of grief, emotional and physical abuse, extreme stress, and emotional trauma of all sorts where people get significant relief when treated.
The Acupuncture channels are related to various organs, which in turn are related to specific emotions: the lungs to grief, the heart to anxiety, the liver to stress, which can manifest in either anger and irritability or depression, the spleen to over-thinking and over-worry, and the kidneys to fear. Trauma often effects each of these emotions. With treatment people feel more relaxed and at peace.
The whole time I was being treated I was also learning. For the first time I understood what Holistic Medicine meant, the concept of treating the whole body. That accident was one of the worst things to happen in my life. It was also one of the best; teaching me first hand that suffering can be greatly reduced, and people can heal physically, mentally, and emotionally at an accelerated rate. Since becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist, and thanks to my own experiences, I’ve been able to help people in ways I never thought possible.
Dark Day Blues
If dark days get you down then you likely have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Dark days used to cause me such depression that I moved to Florida, afraid to live anywhere without abundant sunshine. After benefiting from Acupuncture and other Holistic Modalities, I was able to live any place I wanted. I moved to Cannon Beach, Oregon, a place with less sun than Seattle and was fine living there for ten years. Here are some of the things I learned along the way.
Put full spectrum light bulbs throughout your house. GE Reveal bulbs and tubes for florescent fixtures are full spectrum and no more expensive than other types of lighting.
A high quality Cod Liver Oil can be beneficial since it contains a natural form of Vitamin D. For people with low vitamin D levels I prescribe supplements to assist in assimilating this important vitamin.
Don’t stay inside! Get out for walks. Exercise outside despite the weather. You still get the benefit of the light even if it is reduced.
Exercise in general increases the flow of energy and helps alleviate depression.
And if you still have problems come and see me for Acupuncture and other tools to help your body to function in an optimal manner.
Health & Happiness, Nancy Burton, L.Ac.
If you have a group of 10 or more people, that would like to discuss health issues (and a location available for a talk) give me a call at 541-646-0134. I would be happy to meet with you.