I recently had someone call me to say, “I’ve been reading your articles for years, but I don’t really know what you do.” So, I thought I’d better explain. I see patients to help with any health concerns they may have. Colds, flu, cough, aches, pains, back and neck problems, fatigue, hypertension, and adverse blood test results are a few examples. My title is Licensed Acupuncturist. I am licensed with the Oregon Medical Board.
When people come to see me I don’t just treat their symptoms but rather the underlying issues that have created those symptoms. By addressing the root cause the symptoms can be resolved.
In nearly all cases I discuss nutrition and nutritional assimilation with my patients since our bodies can’t heal without proper nutrients. It’s like your car; if the carburetor is clogged your car won’t receive the gas it needs to run. If you fix the carburetor and are still putting gas mixed with sand into your tank, your car won’t work for long. And if the fuel lines are clogged, repairing the carburetor, and buying clean gas, won’t resolve the issue.
In many cases I will prescribe herbal formulas and nutritional supplements, along with acupuncture treatments, to remedy a patients underlying problems. I also look at what my patients are eating and if they’re able to digest their food.
A full range of symptoms serves as clues for me to figure out what isn’t working as it should. If one part of your body isn’t functioning well, it eventually has a domino effect and creates problems elsewhere. Think of an assembly line; you can’t ignore a problem with one section of the line, or remove it, and expect everything to run smoothly on down the line.
- If your cholesterol is high it’s an indication your body isn’t breaking down fats.
- If you have smelly gas, it’s a sign that undigested food is sitting in your intestines too long. Your food isn’t being broken down into a form your body can efficiently utilize. Just like food sitting out on the counter for an extended period, it creates gas and then stinks.
- If you are overweight you could be eating foods that are healthy for some, but just not healthy for you. Weight problems are also an indication that you aren’t properly digesting your food or that your endocrine system needs some support.
- Even tiny stones in your gallbladder can adversely affect the function of your pancreas. This can lead to blood sugar problems and diabetes. If your gallbladder isn’t working well, or you’ve had it removed, you aren’t breaking down your fats efficiently. A combination of animal and vegetable fats are necessary for brain function and to prevent dementia. The ability to break down fats directly affects your digestive and immune systems. And good fats are the building blocks of hormones. Hormones are the communications system for your whole body: enabling the glands to communicate with each other and tell your organs and tissues what to do. If you aren’t breaking down fats it can cause masses: lumps, cysts, fibroids or tumors. And if you have stones, which are calcium deposits, in your gallbladder you might have calcium deposits elsewhere in your body that creates further health problems.
A list of a patient’s health issues gives me the road map I need to determine what’s going on. For the cases listed above, I might prescribe supplements to support and help repair the gallbladder and glands in the endocrine system, including the pancreas. I might prescribe supplements for digestive and immune support or formulas to enable your body to resolve stones or masses. There are herbal formulas and Acupuncture for just about every issue.
Every symptom you have is evidence your body is trying to communicate with you and tell you what’s wrong. It’s my job to figure out what your body is trying to say and help you learn to interpret your body’s means of communication. Together we figure out what is not working as it should and what to do about it.
If you are on medications prescribed by a medical doctor you will continue to take them. You will work with your doctor and pharmacist so they can decide if you need to continue, reduce, or eliminate any of your prescriptions as your body heals. What I offer is not an absolute alternative to conventional medicine. I prefer to think of it as a complimentary modality. My job is to help your body work as efficiently as possible whether or not you are on prescription medication, or are undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. Part of my training is to know what supplements shouldn’t be used with certain pharmaceutical drugs. The education I received leading to my degree included sufficient conventional medicine to know when to refer patients to an M.D. or direct them to an emergency room. Therefore, I can work with you whether or not you are under a doctor’s care.
If you are already taking supplements we evaluate which are helping or hindering your body. Most of my patients can drastically reduce the amount of pills they’ve been taking. Let’s face it, if the supplements you’re taking are doing everything you expected of them, you wouldn’t be having health problems.
How does the Acupuncture fit into all this? Acupuncture enhances the delivery system of the nutrients, helping them move to where they need to go. There are point prescriptions for about everything. Acupuncture moves the energy, the Qi in your body, which pushes the blood, which carries the nutrients to specific locations. When your body’s energy and blood are flowing as they should you feel more relaxed, have less pain and heal faster. So Acupuncture is one more tool to resolve symptoms by treating root causes of those symptoms.
Do people have to have Acupuncture when they come to see me? No. If you aren’t comfortable with Acupuncture, I don’t do it. But if you want to include it in your protocol, it makes your body heal faster and everything else works better. Also, most people really enjoy it, finding it to be extremely relaxing. But when you come to see me it’s important to let me know what you’re comfortable with. That determines your treatment plan.
So, “What do I do?” I help you figure out what your body is trying to tell you, and then help your body function as it should so you can feel your best. And yes, I am taking new patients.
Heath and Happiness,
Nancy Burton, L.Ac.
534 Washington St. Ashland, OR