Local Acupuncturist Relieves Pain for Hundreds of Ohioans Each Year


January 6, 2004

Columbus, OH) – While many in Ohio plan their year according to the seasons, Charles, Rob and Lester plan their lives according to the level of pain they feel each day: “moderate,” “severe,” or “extreme.” Over the past few months, their level of pain has calmed down by quite a bit, almost as much as 75 percent, they say, thanks to weekly acupuncture treatments by New Realm Acupuncture..

For Charles, it was a fall off a ladder that led to 20 years of “pain, more pain… the same pain, all the time.” Years of chiropractic treatment and physical therapy did nothing for him, he said. “I broke my right wrist, and it hasn’t been right since. My doctors ran test after test and told me I couldn’t get any movement back in my arm and wrist-ever.”

Still, he continued with the obligatory twice-a-year doctor visits, showing the doctor yet again how he couldn’t get his hand to move, and getting a prescription for the pain. “When the pain got really bad, I would just go to bed and sleep it off.”

Then his doctor retired, and he decided to ask his general practitioner if he should try acupuncture instead to help him cope with the pain. By then, the 67-year-old had cervical spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis of the neck, and degenerative disc disease. “He is not a surgical candidate,” wrote his doctor in her referral notes to New Realm Acupuncture.

Charles was told that it would take about seven treatments before he could feel the effects. Using extremely fine, hair-thin needles that are flexible and sterile, the needles are placed on specific “acu-points” on areas to be treated, which then stimulates the pathways of energy or qi that correlate to the nerves, organs or muscles on the body. That, in turn, helps the body’s natural healing ability, releasing hormones and endorphins.

Charles said it took just two treatments, and he was able to move his hand again. “I came here for pain management, and being able to do all of this [demonstrating as he spoke]… move my wrist, put my arm behind my back, hold a can of soda in my hand again… is a huge bonus.”

Acupuncture has been used in China as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 3,000 years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease, and improve physical fitness and energy. Both Eastern and Western medical annals document the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating over 400 kinds of physical, emotional and psychological disorders.

The World Health Organization lists 43 diseases that respond well to acupuncture, including disorders of the bones, muscles, joints and nervous systems; circulatory; gastrointestinal; urogenital; gynecological; infectious diseases; dermatosis; and addictions.

With the costs of healthcare and medication continuing to escalate, more people are turning to practitioners of alternative and complementary medicine for answers. Recent studies estimate that 40 percent of American healthcare consumers use some form of complementary or alternative medicine today (about 50 percent in the 35- to 49-year-old age group).

For Rob, it was the need to find answers beyond what his medical specialists were prescribing that led him to New Realm. For over 20 years, he has had to deal with a crippling form of arthritis no specialist has been able to accurately pinpoint. His search for a cure has taken him to some of the best medical centers across the U.S. and even overseas. “All these years, none of my doctors has been able to say if it’s psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or some other form, except that mine is not the textbook type. Other than labeling it degenerative, undergoing six reconstructive surgeries in the last 10 years, and now recommending very expensive medicine, more than $18,000 a year per drug, none of it covered by medical insurance and with no guarantee that any of it would work, mainstream doctors haven’t given me any answers.”

In September, a chance conversation with the owners of an Asian grocery store about acupuncture brought forth New Realm’s business card. Since then, Rob says, his twice-a-week visits to New Realm have not only helped with his pain; he believes it has also given him more energy. “I feel a slight warming sensation as the needles were inserted, and I feel my muscles starting to relax. The more I am able to relax, the better I feel as the pathways in my body start to open up.”

Each treatment costs $65 and lasts about an hour. The treatment may include moxibustion (where warming herbs are used to increase circulation) and acupressure on the areas worked on.

Lester is another patient for whom acupuncture treatments have worked well. The 53-year-old suffers from a genetic bone disease that has afflicted him all his life. Diagnosed with polio when he was eight, Lester has had 13 surgeries, including the replacement of both hips. But it wasn’t until his daughter was diagnosed 25 years ago with a rare kidney disease resulting in Vitamin D deficiency and rickets-a genetic disease in which the kidneys eliminate phosphorus from the body-that he discovered that his illness had a name.

“My whole skeletal system is in bad shape. I need a lever to get my socks on, to pick my feet up so that I can step into my pants. I can’t do steps. It feels like there’s a catch in the joint,” said Lester, who walks with a cane. “Now I have a little more mobility in my legs. Before acupuncture, whenever I lay on my side, it hurt to lift one leg over the other. Now, I can. I can also lift my right foot 7 1/2 inches off the ground.

“I will be very honest. When I first came here, I was skeptical. I didn’t think it would work. For one treatment, they had to use 25 needles. I have gotten more from acupuncture treatments in New Realm than I’ve had in 2 1/2 years of physical therapy. I’ve been off work for three years now and I’m at the doctor’s office two or three times a week. Acupuncture has taken away 75 percent of my pain.”

Like Rob, Lester recognizes that he may need surgery again, to “knock off the calcium and grind off the deposits that have calcified” in his knees. This time, though, he hopes to shorten the recovery time by using acupuncture treatments to “help the blood circulate and heal faster.”

In Ohio, non-physician acupuncturists must be certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and registered with the Ohio Medical Board. The certification process includes formal education, apprenticeship and training, professional experience, and examinations. Gao and Jing, the acupuncturists of New Realm, have had five years university training for acupuncture in China. In 1999, they moved to Ohio and set up New Realm Acupuncture Center. The medical conditions they treat here tend to be more weather-related. The dampness and the humidity in Central Ohio affect many people, who end up with arthritis, pain and stiffness in the joints. Other common ailments are asthma and allergies, for which acupuncture is also very effective.

Concerned about the side effects of Western medicine on the kidney, liver and heart, more physicians are encouraging their patients to explore acupuncture. Dr. Tik Liem, a general surgeon in Willard, Ohio, refers patients to New Realm. “I am a physician but I don’t like to routinely prescribe medicine. I referred a patient to a back specialist, but neither surgery nor physical therapy worked for him, so I suggested he try acupuncture. After two treatments, it helped.”

To arrange for an exclusive interview with New Realm and learn how they have helped hundreds of Ohioans cope with arthritis, asthma, allergies and more; for more information on the latest research on acupuncture or what orthopedic surgeons and other specialists have to say about acupuncture, contact New Realm Acupuncture at (614) 264-1086.