Prior to starting the Breeze Academy Acupuncture & Dry Needling Foundation Course I had very little knowledge and clinical understanding of acupuncture, I was keen to learn more and get another treatment option under my belt but hadn’t realised how much it would make me think about my own approach to assessing a patient and improve my skills in obtaining a holistic treatment approach.
What really gave me the lightbulb moment was learning the online Chinese Medicine (TCM) content, which refers to a flow of energy (DeQi) in the body opposed to western approaches which focus on increasing range of movement or reducing pain at the problem area. It made me think as a sport rehabilitator and aspiring Physiotherapist why don’t I think to treat grief? I’m not necessarily referring to death here. When a sportsman is out injured is he not grieving his pre-injury training progress? longing for another 90- minute match pain free. Is a cancer patient not grieving their healthy life prior to diagnosis? grieving the loss of their hair after chemotherapy? These are all things I had considered ‘psychological’ and out of my scope of practise, but are they really? This course has really opened my eyes to the bigger picture and how amazing the human body is at working as one.
Understandably a patient may be a little confused if I start asking about their emotional and physical dryness but what if I took more notice of their general skin appearance or mood or even delved into their immune response to recent illness in a subjective assessment. This may consequently lead to targeting lung and large intestine meridians as well as local pain areas with acupuncture, could this be the difference to a patient leaving their treatment sessions feeling better in themselves as well as their injury or pain, providing some relief to their loss as well as physical improvement to injury.
Now I’m not saying I’m now a Chinese healer by any means, but it’s certainly made me rethink my personal approach to subjective and initial assessments as soon as the patient walks into the treatment room. I can’t wait to see some success with acupuncture appreciating both western and Chinese medicine approaches!