My approach to acupuncture includes TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine - the modality most Americans have become familiar with), and alternative methods from Japan, Tung Acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine to complement and reinforce acupuncture treatment.
It is important in the first visit and treatment that time is taken to do a comprehensive consultation. This includes, but is not limited to, looking at the tongue, and taking pulses on both wrists, and asking lots of questions your regular doctor probably never asked. After this, I will make the diagnosis that will determine a treatment plan.
In addition to the now standard TCM acupuncture as taught in schools, I know several other modalities either NOT taught in the schools or only rarely taught.
While interning as a student, I had the great privilege of working at La Familia, Albuquerque, with foster children and working at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Albuquerque, on rehab patients alongside MD doctors and Physical Therapists. These opportunities are rare for students at most Acupuncture schools. A great experience!
So I have some great extra tools and advantages. If a treatment plan, i.e acupuncture points I choose, isn't showing the rapid results I expect, I switch to a another style of treatment and maintain continuous progress. I tailor each patient treatment utilizing any necessary combination of approaches.
While I was on a recent sabbatical I studied Tung Acupuncture. The Tung system has very different acupuncture point locations than the regular TCM style as taught and practiced mainland China and here in America. Until relatively recently, the Tung style of treatment was not taught outside the Tung family itself - it was kept secret.
The Tung System has hundreds of acupuncture points on the body that Americans are only now starting to learn. I have been getting outstanding results this past year introducing the Tung points into my clinical practice - especially with pain issues. Very exciting!
Another style I use is based on a Japanese approach referred to as Kototama. Without going into the details, it is a method whereby I diagnose and treat the patient based on balancing the wrist pulses that are taken on both the left and right side. I use this more subtle modality with my healthy clients, those who have gotten back to pain-free health and come to see me for a once-a-month "tune-up".