Often, however, the patients present with unusual symptoms that fail to reveal their source despite extensive work-ups and visits to numerous specialists. These symptoms, like fatigue, or insomnia, or muscle pain, or digestive irregularities are often clustered into a category of "functional complaints," as opposed to organic illnesses where the diagnosis and treatment course are both apparent.
Functional complaints may not be life-threatening, but they can drastically impair the patients' ability to function. Often these symptoms will not respond to conventional medical treatments. It is not uncommon to see a patient who seen a litany of specialists, who've failed to "fix" these complaints.
It is particularly in this area where Chinese medicine and Medical Acupuncture shines the brightest. On many occasions the patients' response to acupuncture can be dramatic and swift. Symptoms, that may have plagued a patient for 20 years, have the potential to resolve in a few sessions.
While that is certainly not the norm, it happens often enough to convincingly prove the value of acupuncture in a physicians' toolkit.
Having an MD acupuncturist, as opposed to someone trained solely in acupuncture, is better for the patient. There is more knowledge of important anatomy, more insight into serious causes of illness and there is much less likelihood of a missed serious diagnosis.
It is important for us to take care of our bodies, and there is an extensive emphasis placed in the practice on preventative care. We want our patients to stay healthy as long as possible by controlling their risk factors such as cholesterol and obesity, through proper preventative screening, such as mammography and colonoscopy, and through body conditioning, such as a regular exercise of stretching.
The doctor is more focused than most on addressing the various vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by a typical Western diet.