I’ve been on the staff at the Acupuncture Center of New Jersey for many years. I am very gratified when I meet a patient who presents with multiple problems and I’m able to help him or her with acupuncture and nutritional guidelines. I have been treating Carmela with acupuncture since May of this year. She initially came in for severe knee pain due to arthritic flare-up. After a number of acupuncture treatments, she started to experience distinct improvement. She improved to the point where she was able to resume some physical exercises again. She is 72 years old now. As they are from Italy and she didn't trust her English, her husband always accompanied her to serve as her translator during the treatments. He reported that gradually Carmela was able to move better and do more around the house. A few more weeks later, she came for her bi-weekly acupuncture treatments in a very up-beat mood. She had walked for half an hour outside without any pain! Her knees were initially stiff in the morning and achy from time to time. But she feels a marked difference and a lot more mobile with the regular acupuncture treatments the past month.
At that point, her husband told me that they just came from a visit with her physician, who told her that she needed to lose more weight. Well, the problem was they have already made lots of healthy food choices over the last year, and she had lost about 30 lbs in total already. Now her weight simply plateaued and it had become difficult to shed more pounds. They didn't know what else to do. They asked if I could combine acupuncture for weight loss treatment to her regular treatments for knee pain. As acupuncture treats the whole body, I started to add the weight loss protocol to her arthritis treatments. A typical treatment could easily use 40 some needles, with electric stimulation and Infrared heat lamp which takes about 45 min. going home, she was to press on the ear beads taped to ear acupuncture points for each meal. I have adjusted a few herbal formulas to make her battle fatigued body to Using the Traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis of painful obstruction syndrome (joint pain) and deficient Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (weight gain) I began an acupuncture treatment regimen of acupuncture treatments bi-weekly. For several weeks, the changes were minimal. I advised told her to stick with her commitment to the treatment plan. I recommended she continue with the daily calorie limits, and to distribute the meals such that steady breakfast, more for lunch, and less for dinner is observed. Carmela had become a loyal and committed patient in that she not only comes in regularly for bi-weekly treatments but also is motivated and follows the additional dietary recommendation religiously.
This morning, she came back to resume treatments from a most recent beach vacation. Her husband handed me a most recent blood test and physical exam results from her physician. Not only all her levels were within the normal range, but she has lost another 7 lb. She is glowing with vitality.
When we were discussing about what to do next, I noticed she sports a new fit bit. An idea came to me. It's an idea shared by our office manager Debbie who just experienced some weight plateau breakthrough after a lull of many weeks. Just set the FitBit to an hourly reminder. When the alarm sounds, simply get up from whatever you are doing to take a brisk walk of 250 steps before sitting back down again. That's it... it can ne that simple. And it really works. So I passed along the smart idea for Carmela to practice. It will be very suitable and doable given her pre-existing knee condition. Acupuncture combined with realistic dietary goals has produced a satisfied, healthy patient on her road to wellness!
If you have a patient journey... please share with us here!
Post by Helen Chen, L. Ac., M.S.T.O.M.
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