Success Stories from the Wintertime Acupuncture Clinic

by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

We’re in the middle of winter, and that means in my acupuncture clinic I am commonly treating issues which have to do with the kidneys and bladder, the two organs associated with the Water Element, according to Chinese Medicine.

Those issues can be obvious, such as frequent or difficult urination; or they can be mysterious to the non-Chinese Medicine practitioner, such as headaches in the occipital region of the head, feelings of deep and intractable coldness and/or fatigue, unremitting and chronic diarrhea, infertility, or low grade back pain not due to an injury or strain.

According to acupuncture theory, each organ has a channel of energy that travels throughout the body, and points along this channel can be used in acupuncture for treating that organ.  This is why we may not even use acupuncture needles at the area where the actual pain or discomfort is—for example the patient with the occipital headaches—but instead choose points on the opposite end of the body, and along the kidney or bladder channel, which have been empirically shown for thousands of years to treat those headaches. Only someone skilled in Chinese Medicine diagnostics would be able to diagnose the actual reasons for those headaches, and actually treat them from the core, thus resolving them; unlike the western medicine approach which is to simply give a bandaid to temporarily take away the pain.

My acupuncture patients

Right now, many of my patients seem to have kidney imbalances at the root of their issues, with some conglomeration of the aforementioned symptoms.  The best thing is, typically patients think they’re just coming in for their most debilitating issue, even if they have all or many of the above symptoms.  For one person it may be their headaches which impact their lives the most, for another it may be the diarrhea, for the next it may be the fatigue.  But in the treatment process, they start to understand that their symptoms are all related and therefore must be treated together, and one by one they notice their symptoms improving together as treatment progresses. 

Many of my current patients are dealing with the above issues…or, should I say were, as they are all improving steadily and getting their lives back as their symptoms and overall energy, and therefore outlook on life, is improving.

Emotions of the Water Element

Speaking of outlook, when people have severe daily debilitating symptoms, fear is a common emotion that crops up, adding to the impact on their lives.  And indeed, fear is the emotion associated with the Water Element, Winter, and kidney imbalance.  As their kidneys get restored and their symptoms start improving, patient’s outlook and emotional state begins to improve as well.

As I’ve written in my last blog post, and will continue in my next post, the kidneys store our root qi deep inside our body.  This qi easily gets drained, which will bring on the imbalance which causes these medical issues.  Having them resolved from the core is the best way to treat them; naturally, without harmful drugs, or invasive treatments.  By simply increasing the vital Qi in the body, acupuncturists see many issues easily resolve on their own.

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