Why me? (Part 2)
What do I do that's different from other practitioners? What makes my work special? Why see me?
There's a proverb from Russia: Доверяй, но проверяй (Doveryai, no proveryai). Trust, but verify. I don't trust. I verify.
Managing chronic disease is a tricky thing, and the acupuncture I do has been very successful in treating many kinds of digestive, endocrine, reproductive, gynaecological, neurological, autoimmune, musculoskeletal and pain disorders (among others). Chronic pain has been something that has always troubled me in my clinic, because sometimes I have to see people more often than I would like. Even when the results are good and the patient is pain-free for a couple of months at a time, they often return with much the same pain, in much the same location. Again, I want something more effective, with longer-lasting results, so I learned a system of manual muscle testing called NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT).
NKT takes "my wrist hurts when I try to open a jar" and allows us to determine what hurts and why it hurts, identifying at a muscle-by-muscle, joint-by-joint and tissue-by-tissue level what is going on while we try to open the jar, to target our treatment so that we can release exactly what needs to be released, then activate exactly what needs to be activated. An NKT catchphrase is: Test, Don't Guess. I like testing. I hate guessing.
NKT makes our treatment and homework so specific and useful that we've been able to give people back ranges of motion they thought they had lost forever, or as some patients tell me, never had: "I don't think I've ever been able to do that" while performing a simple movement with a natural ease and full range of motion in an entirely new way- sometimes we fix something that the patient didn't even know was broken.
Since learning the introductory level of NKT, I haven't really had to treat the same chronic pain in the same patient more than twice. It is more common that we move very quickly from whatever pain the patient came in for to sorting out their gait, evening up their functional limb lengths, improving their ability to rotate, breathe, generate power, run, dance, walk up and down stairs, improve their symmetry... Most of our chronic aches and pains can be alleviated by changing the way the brain talks to the body.
NKT is a system for reprogramming motor patterns in the brain, and it is amazingly good at it.
Recently I've been chatting with some of my long-term chronic pain patients, many months after their last visits (after a few sessions where we applied NKT strategies). When I ask how their decade- or decades-long chronic pain is, they have happily told me: It's gone. That's why I haven't been in to see you. That's the goal! I don't want to see people again and again for the same issue. I want to get them back to their lives with a new freedom and ease, to feel, move and live better. If there's some still-restricted range of motion or lack of flexibility or freedom of movement, then of course we can use some clinic time and the same strategies to enhance and continue to improve movement capacity and quality, but 'just' getting rid of a chronic and life-limiting pain condition is obviously A Good Thing.
The point of all this text is: I have a large toolbox of clinical strategies I've been filling for thirty-odd years with the best tools I've been able to find and I try to use the absolute best treatment strategy for every patient and condition whether it's acupuncture, moxibustion, low level laser therapy, massage, bodywork, myofascial release, reprogramming motor patterns, active/passive/assisted or partnered stretching, breathing and meditation strategies, teaching how to fall or roll, whatever actually helps for what is happening when you come in. I try to verify everything we do in a real-world fashion, so you can easily tell when there is improvement.
When it takes us four treatments to reduce your chronic pain or symptoms*, I'm trying to reduce or eliminate it in two. When it takes eight needles to eliminate pain or reduce a reflex reaction, I'd prefer to use six, or four.
No: the way I work is still not a magic bullet and; Yes, it actually does take more than one hour to change a life (and preferably some homework on rehab as well); but if you're looking for some help to feel, move and live better - come and see me. I'll be here, trying to achieve more with fewer visits.
*This is exceedingly rare - nobody gives me four chances without seeing major improvement, even though that is a perfectly reasonable estimate for an initial course of treatment for nearly any chronic condition