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Have You Tried Community Acupuncture?

 

Have You Tried Community Acupuncture?

Did you know that some of life’s most common health conditions – depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, emotional issues, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, allergies – can be treated with acupuncture? “The goal of an acupuncturist is to balance the body — up and down, left and right, external, interior, big and small,” says Daniel Katz, co-founder of Wildwood, a holistic, integrative health practice on India Street in downtown Portland, Maine.

Community acupuncture is really for the every-person. It’s a relatively new movement here in Maine, even though it has been practiced in China for thousands of years, says Daniel. In fact, acupuncture was never meant to be an elitist, hard-to-access treatment, and community acupuncture provides a route to finding balance conveniently and affordably.

What is Community Acupuncture?

Community acupuncture is a way to be treated by an acupuncturist in a group setting. At Wildwood Community Acupuncture, people enter a large room and settle into one of the many recliner chairs. Then, a Wildwood acupuncturist will take a short intake with each person, find out what’s going on, and provide treatment. Because the treatment takes place in a group setting with other patients, the cost is far below the cost of treatment in a private setting.

Community acupuncture is like the social justice of medicine, says Daniel, “because we treat everyone and literally everybody gets the same quality treatment.” This is a departure from a health care system that often gives the most comprehensive care to those with the best insurance coverage.

In the Wildwood Community Acupuncture clinic, patients stay clothed while the practitioner uses needles to access powerful points below the knee, below the elbow, on the head and ears. Once the needles have been inserted, the patient rests comfortably for about 45 minutes. Daniel notes that many people fall asleep as the treatment takes effect. Many of the benefits are felt immediately, while others take time.

Why do people like Community Acupuncture?

People enjoy the group energy, the lower costs, and the easy, flexible access that community acupuncture provides. Also, because community acupuncture costs so much less than a private treatment, patients can come in more frequently and find faster relief for their conditions. At Wildwood, community acupuncture is offered almost daily, so people don’t have to wait days or weeks for an advance appointment and can usually come in for an injury or illness on the same day.

The group dynamic is really quite profound, says Daniel, and the word community in community acupuncture is a central to the appeal. “There’s this sense that everybody is in it together,” he says. “It’s kind of like doing yoga in your living room as opposed to going to a class.” The group energy heals.

What Are the Barriers to Getting Healthy?

There are plenty of barriers to health, explains Daniel, which is why Wildwood offers community acupuncture to everyone. The barriers to getting healthy include work and time constraints, physical barriers, such as distance and transportation, restrictions in insurance, social barriers, and even mindset.

Some people are locked into their own idea that their illness is part of them as opposed to something that can be treated,” says Daniel. “I see a wide variety of barriers to people getting well, but I see that as part of our job – to break down those barriers and see if we can help.”

Wildwood treats all sorts of common conditions, including patients who want to avoid surgery and people who cannot get relief in traditional therapy. Their practitioners treat people who want to access deeper relaxation, those suffering disease, illness, and the pain of life.

Why Portland, Maine?

Portland has an interesting community of people who are thoughtful in how they want to be treated,” says Daniel. A lot of people do not want a complicated plan of care. They want a simplified, down-to-earth way of looking at their health. Wildwood’s location in downtown Portland offers a one-stop holistic option. The practice comprises a doctor, five acupuncturists, several physical therapists, a massage therapist, and you can get supplements there too.

We don’t have a preconceived idea of what people will want when they come to Wildwood,” says Daniel. “We look at people with a holistic point of view and we meet them where they are on their road the health so that they can ultimately reach their destiny.”

To sign up for community acupuncture treatment, visit:

http://wildwoodmedicine.com/community-acupuncture/

 

 


The Iceman, Modern Medicine and Ancient Acupuncture

Have you ever heard of Ötzi the Iceman? If not, this is the perfect story to explore as glacial winter weather settles upon us here in Portland, Maine.

Preserved in the Ice

Ötzi’s well-preserved, naturally mummified remains were found accidentally by hikers in 1991 on the Schnalstal/Val Senales Valley glacier in South Tyrol, Italy, where researchers believe he was shot in the back by an arrow more than five thousand years ago! This means that the Copper Age mummy, whose tools and clothing were preserved alongside him in the ice, predates ancient sites such as Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.

 

Otzi’s remains (Wikimedia Commons)

Medical Mysteries

The Iceman’s body was so well-preserved in the mountains that researchers have painted an incredibly clear picture of Otzi’s life and death – they were even able to discern that his final meal was one of fresh or dried ibex twelve hours before he was killed! Along with ibex, the bacteria H. pylori was found in his intestines. While modern research has linked this bacteria, which is present in 50% of humans, to ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues, scientists studying the Iceman believe H. pylori may have aided in the digestion of raw meat. Another interesting digestive discovery was that the Iceman was lactose intolerant. 1

Connection to Acupuncture

The origins of the ancient healing art of acupuncture have generally been traced to China during the Warring State period, about 770-221 B.C.E.2 Stone tools and ancient texts that reference a system of meridians from that era had previously supported this claim – until Ötzi, that is. One of the most interesting discoveries associated with the Iceman is a series mysterious tattoos, sixty-one in total, located near points that correspond with modern acupuncture points. Researchers consider these tattoos to be medicinal, in particular to help alleviate pain associated with degeneration in Ötzi’s lumbar spine (if you have ever seen an acupuncturist for low back pain, you most likely have been needled near your ankle – similar to some of Ötzi’s tattoos!) If researchers’ suspicions are correct, a system of acupuncture may have been known to inhabitants of the Alps thousands of years before acupuncture can be traced to China.

More Questions than Answers

Studying Ötzi has opened a doorway into the mysterious ancient world in which he lived, providing scientists with as many questions as answers. What do you think about the Iceman?

1Sturdee, Simon. Stone Age mummy still revealing secrets, 25 years on. September 2016.

https://phys.org/news/2016-09-stone-age-mummy-revealing-secrets.html

2Run Ming, Yan. The Origin and Development of Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3331519/pdf/ASL-4-224.pdf