Acupuncture in support of
psychotherapy, counseling and psychopharmacology
Acupuncture can be a superb adjunct to psychotherapy, counseling and psychopharmacology. If you work with patients in these fields, please consider the following:
Helping a person move a shoulder again, walk more easily, or live free of pain can lead to many fruitful outcomes. I invite discussion with you about acupuncture as an adjunct to your work as psychotherapist, counselors or psychopharmacologists.
- While there are many points of view in acupuncture, my own perspective involves seeing acupuncture essentially as a bodywork with whole-system effects. What I am not is a psychotherapist. I leave that to practitioners trained in those modalities.
- An aim of acupuncture adjunctive therapy is to help patients stay in psychotherapy or counseling, or to continue with their pharmacological regimen.
- Many patients seeking help for emotional difficulties are also dealing with pain or chronic illness. Acupuncture is effective for most pain conditions and can help support patients through chronic illness. (For an elaboration, please see "The Yin & Yang of Acupuncture: A New Theory of Acupuncture and Its Relationship to Inflammation," another page on this website.) Breaking the vicious cycle of pain or physical debilitation can help patients reframe their lives and approach psychotherapy with new energy.
- Acupuncture is about returning to balance and freeing energies for use in productive directions. The metaphor in ancient times was to balance yin and yang. This is still the operative concept, but now we can frame this as encouraging the body's homeostasis to enhance both physical and emotional health.
- Acupuncture can help to restore a person's sense of himself or herself as a vigorous person. It is telling that there is now an acupuncture service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to build red- and white-blood-cell and platelet counts for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Restoring the vigor of a patient's immune system can be key to returning the person to a whole and effective life.
- Acupuncture is a nonpharmacologic intervention that has been proven safe, with few reported adverse events.
Copyright 2008 Mid-Hudson Acupuncture