Robert has been licensed as an acupuncturist since 1985. He received his doctoral degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine in 2007 at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in Portland. Robert was the Dean of Clinics and the Clinic Director at OCOM. Currently he is a clinical faculty member at OCOM.
I believe that in many cases if the body is given a chance and little assistance, it will heal itself. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, exercise, and little helpful health advice can provide enough help for the body move in a more healthful direction, so that patients in many cases can avoid medication and even surgery.
I also spend quite a bit of time talking to my patients about lifestyle changes. Please be open to change. Good health requires effort. Good diet, good exercise, good sleep, and a good attitude go a LONG way!
I may ask a patient to take Chinese herbs to enhance the effect of the treatment. In my office I generally use either herbs in a pill form (called Patent Medicines) or a powder formula (called Granule Herbs). These herbs need to be taken regularly to have an effect. They can be thought of as a potent form of food. And though there can be occasional minor side-effects (digestive upset) from the herbs, they are not toxic or harmful like pharmaceutical prescriptions.
Acupuncture is a physical modality which employs very thin stainless steel needles which are inserted into the skin at various acupuncture points which are located on acupuncture meridians or channels. The needles stimulate the flow of the Qi (or energy) in the meridians. The Qi can either be stagnant or stuck, resulting in pain or discomfort and which needs to be moved or can be weak, which requires tonification or strengthening.
Many needles or just a few needles may be used during each treatment. The patient may be treated lying face down, face up, or even while seated. The patient may be asked to lie still for just a few minutes or even 30 minutes. The patient is certainly able to speak to the acupuncturist about what is comfortable. I use very thin needles, so therefore I expect it to be an almost painless treatment. I want patients to tell me if it bothers them. Acupuncture is also a very safe modality. We acupuncturists are trained to avoid internal organs and other sensitive areas of the body. There can be minor bleeding or bruising and occasional pain, but for the most part this would be rare.
Acupuncture also includes a number of adjunctive therapies such as moxabustion, a heat therapy, cupping, a suction therapy, and gwasha, a scraping therapy. They are a little different than acupuncture, but all work toward helping the body to heal.