Can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Help You?
Consult The Most Experienced Practitioner of Oriental Medicine in Ohio
For more than 2500 years, generations of patients and physicians have depended on acupuncture, moxibustion, tuina, and dietary therapy for preventative care, basic medical treatment, and advanced management of complex disorders. These rarely mastered arts are now available in Cleveland.
Very few physicians have devoted the years of study necessary to understand the complex anatomy of the meridians or the subtle blending of foods and flavors to produce the Oriental medicines of the East. After more than 45 years of study and application, I have integrated these time-honored techniques with the best of modern medical knowledge.
If you have a complex or difficult to treat problem, or have a disorder that doesn't fit neatly into the arbitrary categories created by insurance companies and codebooks, I invite you read the information about the programs available through my office.
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L.B. Grotte, M.D.
There is Only One Medicine
Occasionally, I will be asked how it is possible to study and use diagnostic and treatment techniques from different cultures, some many hundreds of years old, with modern patients and problems.
I answer by pointing out that the concerns of patients and physicians in every culture, and all throughout time, have always been exactly the same: how to relieve suffering with minimal risk and side effects.
Medicine is the science, art, and craft of understanding suffering, its causes, and its remedies. Its skillful practice is not limited to any one profession, geographic locale, historical period, or ethnic group.
It does not require its practitioners to be of any particular religious or spiritual practice, though traditionally physicians were chosen on the basis of their good character and self discipline, as well as by their motivation and intellectual capacity.
Likewise, the tools of medicine have ranged from the extremely simple to the most technologically advanced, limited only by the wisdom and skill of their application.
Increasing evidence supports the use of traditional techniques such as acupuncture, moxabustion, plant-based treatments, meditation and specific breathing and muscular exercises for the treatment of acute as well as chronic and complex disorders. Ever so slowly, these are becoming more accepted by physicians, mainly because patients have found them effective and have created demand for these alternatives.
In contrast to the present emphasis on surgery and pharmaceuticals, traditional medical systems emphasize lower technology, low risk techniques. In some situations, combining modern medical treatment with traditional methods are more effective than either alone.
There is More to Oriental Medicine Than "Acupuncture"
As doctors and patients have become more familiar with the effectiveness of Chinese medicine for acute and chronic pain we have seen more practitioners begin to use acupuncture needles. However, it is interesting how few doctors are using moxabustion.
"Moxabustion" (sometimes "moxibustion") is the general term for warming acupuncture points.
The actual Chinese words that refer to this type of treatment state that application of both "fire" (moxabustion) and "metal" (acupuncture needles) are required to effectively correct malfunction of the channels.
Many doctors' offices and all hospitals prohibit any use of moxabustion: As a result, what is practiced in almost every place in the United States as "acupuncture" differs from the full range of techniques preferred in the Oriental tradition.
Practitioners who never use moxabustion would be like physicians who only use antibiotics to treat all problems.
Another limitation seen in entry-level "acupuncture" practice is that only the primary channels are treated. There are 12 primary channels that course along the upper and lower extremities, but there are 8 secondary channels that are also very important to evaluate. Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of these secondary channels (sometimes known as the "curious meridians") is necessary in the majority of patients that I see.
In addition to the primary and secondary channels, there are collateral pathways that transit through the muscles and connective tissue. It is extremely important that disorders of these tendinomuscular channels be treated, but this is rarely addressed by practitioners who have just added a few needle techniques to their usual routine.
We Treat Much More Than Pain
There are many non-painful disorders that can also be treated through the various channel systems.
A large group of common problems are labeled "functional" by Western physicians: This is another area where Oriental medicine might be helpful. "Functional" means that something in the body is not "working right", but no specific cause or treatment has been found.
Recent examples of the limitations of Western disease categories are disorders such as "chronic fatigue" or "fibromyalgia".
When I was first seeing patients, these diagnoses did not yet exist, but still, patients were appearing at doctors' offices with all of the required symptoms. Because these diagnoses were not recognized at that time, many doctors behaved as if they doubted the truth of the patient's experience or believed that their problems were a psychiatric disorder. Ineffective or arbitrary treatment was often the result, if the doctor didn't tell the patient, "there's nothing wrong with you".
At this same moment in time, there was a comprehensive system of diagnosis and treatment available for these patients in the Chinese medical system.
One of the great advantages of Oriental diagnosis systems is the flexibility to address the patient's exact presentation and develop an individualized treatment plan. Western medicine bases its diagnosis and treatment on more arbitrary categories that are developed by committees of "experts." Most Western doctors have been trained to recognize only accepted diagnostic categories, and are often blind to symptoms that do not fit into this "doctor centered" system.
Acupuncture Without Needles?
Many types of painful disorders, as well as many other problems that aren't painful, can be treated by using the channels that run through the muscles and connective tissues. The excellent news about these sorts of treatments is that they can often be accomplished by the skillful application of gentle pressure at particular reflex points.
Although acupuncture and moxabustion can also be used, there are many patients who can be helped without needles, using only the hands to stimulate responses in the channels.
This treatment of the tendinomuscular channels has no relationship to osteopathic or chiropractic adjustment, and no forceful pressures or excessive movements of the joints is necessary.
The fact that options to acupuncture exist, which can obtain excellent results, make tendinomuscular treatments especially attractive for children or those who are apprehensive about the use of needles.
Hippocrates Was Right
Hippocrates had many important insights about medical practice that are still relevant today. Although his advice is often misquoted or quoted out of context by representatives of the modern medical-industrial complex, his aphorism that you should make food your medicine and medicine your food has largely been ignored.
Many complex or chronic disorders have some relationship to the digestive system, and the use of Oriental dietary therapy is sometimes essential to a comprehensive treatment plan. Though there are many conditions that do not require major changes, there are also many other disorders that will require additions or subtractions to a patient's present dietary pattern.
Other techniques from Oriental practice, such as plant-based supplements, exercise, and meditational practice, are sometimes recommended for additional benefit in combination with acupuncture, moxabustion, and dietary changes.
Integration with Western medicine is also frequently appropriate.
All of these options will be discussed with you at your initial exam and consultation, and your preferences and concerns addressed in order to develop a plan of care that will be comfortable and appropriate.
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We were the first practice in Ohio to offer the full spectrum of Oriental medicine and and suggest that this inclusive style offers the best chance of success for acute problems, complex chronic imbalances, and multisystem disorders.