Aleta Drummond, M.D., Psychiatry

I studied acupuncture after years of practicing Tai Chi and seeing an acupuncturist myself. Since 2000, I have offered this healing modality to my patients. Emotional problems are understood differently with acupuncture, as there is no separation between mind and body.

Acupuncture is energy medicine. It is based on 5000 years of observation of nature and its constant movement. The ubiquitous yin yang symbol demonstrates this. The black and white opposites, depicted here in blue and green, are never entirely polarized. They are in a constant state of flux evolving into each other.

Life force energy or Qi (also spelled Chi and Ki) flows through channels called meridians in a continuous cycle of movement. Acupuncture needles are placed along these channels to either calm or energize the Qi circulation. The Qi stream in the meridians can be sluggish, blocked or excessive. Physical and emotional pain results when the Qi flow is unbalanced.

During a treatment, most people experience a sense of relaxation and well-being. It is hypothesized that the needles stimulate the release of our own opioid peptides and biogenic amines. Chronic pain, anxiety and depression are among the conditions considered treatable with acupuncture by the World Health Organization. As a medical acupuncturist, I integrate traditional and modern forms of acupuncture with my Western medical training to offer a more comprehensive approach to health care.

Five Element acupuncture is an elegant system of treatment that restores and balances your own meridian movement of energy. The elements are observed, and pulses taken. Mind, body and spirit are addressed with needles and moxa. (The herb, artemisia vulgaris, is burned on acupuncture points.) The nourishing and controlling cycles of energy are used to guide you towards health.

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