The Three Levels of Care at Ballard and Fremont Neighborhood Acupuncture
by Christopher Huson, M.Ac., L.Ac., EAMP
My overarching goal is to relieve my patients’ suffering. I do this by helping my patients return to life refreshed, pain-free, and malaise-free: in the current moment, in the immediate future, and in the long term.
There are three levels of care that my patients experience or want. In the first level, my patients ask me to “please make the problem go away now;” in the second level, they ask me to “please make the problem (that has mostly gone away) to stop coming back;” and in the third level, they ask “please help me figure out why the problem happened in the first place and show me how to prevent its recurrence.”
The first level of care, acute care, takes place in the first 3 or 4 visits. I focus my efforts on the main complaint. The main complaint is usually an acute problem that needs alleviation “right now”. It involves higher frequency of patient contact (1 visit every two or three days), and my patients then have the responsibility of “making it to the appointments,” taking custom formula Chinese herbal medicine at home, possibly doing stretching and light exercises, and of course, seeking help from other healthcare professionals to whom they may have been referred.
In the next level of care, my patients need to come in less frequently, 1 visit every 4 to seven days, and the patient takes over responsibility for making some changes to their behavior that might positively impact their condition eg: adopting an exercise program, changing their diet (food is medicine!), changing their behavior (early to bed, early to rise…).
In the third level of care my patients needs to examine how they came to be in the current situation and to puzzle out what long-term changes they can make that would prevent a recurrence of the main complaint. For this level of care my patients usually needs to come in once every two or three weeks to check in and receive guidance by treatment and behavioral recommendation to help them consolidate and improve upon positive changes that have already taken place.
Often patients find that they get continued benefit from long-term (3 to 6 months) care. This involves taking custom Chinese herbal medicine (“That stuff tastes better and better!”) formulations, Chinese dietary therapy (“I love my rice congee with ginger and green onions!”), and appropriate lifestyle changes (“I joined a gym and exercise 3X a week!”). Some longtime patients find that they like to come in once a week to help with stress management, some come in once a month, and some patients make regular appointments (3-5X a year) to help them stay “in tune” with the changing of the seasons.
The Washington state senate just passed SHB 2448 ! This law formalizes our current ability to perform point injection therapy (PIT) by including EAMPs in the Legend Drug Act. We have been working on this one for two years!
It's a big deal for us at the Washington East Asian Medicine Association, and I look forward to helping many of my patients with this unique and effective therapy.
On Saturday, June 20th, the good artists of the world converge on Fremont to celebrate the longest day of the year and the making of art and celebration for our annual Solstice parade. At Neighborhood Acupuncture, in the backyard secret garden, our very own team of dedicated artists have been busy painting and planning our very own “Loco Cuebo” Float.
Combining the mellifluous stylings of Brazilian Choro music by Seattle’s Choro Loco (www.choroloco.com) and the colorful, vibrant paintings of Brazilian Cubism, the Loco Cuebo float plans to make merry in the street popping out four brilliantly colored paintings of Brazilian cubism. Conceived by Maq D’Avis and created by Norma Baum, the Cuebo Loco float hopes to make the world a brighter and more cheerful place by employing the talented volunteer minions of community artistry and parade performance fun.
Come to the Fremont Solstice Parade! Check out the happenings at www.fremontartscouncil.org. Parade starts Saturday, June 20th at 3pm. See you at the Parade!
That's me, third in from the right!
I am pleased to report that the Washington East Asian Medicine Association, with the help of our most excellent lobbyist Leslie Emerick, was successful in passing a bill through the Legislature this year! It was down to the wire at 3.30pm of the last day of the regular session when the Senate voted 49-0 in a beautiful bipartisan victory for patients and practitioners of East Asian Medicine!
The law establishes an Advisory Committee for East Asian Medicine at the Department of Health and streamlines the licensing process for all East Asian Medicine Providers (EAMPs) by eliminating the onerous requirement of a primary care provider's signature on our licensing documents.
In effect, we have persuaded the legislature that EAMPs no longer need a "hall pass" to practice East Asian Medicine in Washington State.
Many thanks to all my colleagues who wrote emails, letters, and made phone calls to their legislators encouraging them to pass this excellent (and timely) bill; and thanks to Governor Jay Inslee for signing the bill into law (see photos).
Mr. Huson shaking hands with Governor Inslee
To continue with the series of 12. This gregarious number appearing all over town.
In the introduction to the main text of The Way of Heaven: Neijing Suwen Chapters 1 and 2, by Claude Larre, it is said that:
" 9 has the power of 3.
It is effective and complete, filling the void in Heaven, Earth, and man.
10 combines the vertical with the horizontal, bringing 1 back to the head of the series.
It follows 9, adding to it the brilliance of expansion. 10 is the number of the sun and the number of man.
11 is the image of 10, expressing 1 in scattered diversity.
12 is an active whole, the doubling of the 6 junctions of the qi.
12 is also the 4 of space-time animated by 3.
It is a regulator of perfect movement.
And so it is.
In the Introduction to the main text of the book The Way of Heaven, it is stated that,
"Numbers play a significant role, and the best way of understanding that role is through the mathematical notation of a series."
What finer example of a numerical series than the players' and fans grouping into a coherent community, a wholeness.
The second set (5, 6, 7, 8) of the Way of 12 exemplifies this idea:
" 5 is no longer a flux; like 3 it is an organizer...
...It presides over mutations, with reference to a gathering and distributing center where living beings are constructed.
" 6 is the modulation of the vital flux, the number of currents that maintain life...
...It is the number of the modalities of exchange between Heaven and Earth, forming space-time in which the living are located and supported. 6 combines the alternation of 2 and the harmonized flux of 3. Heaven Earth is the field of the 6 junctions of the qi.
" 7 springs up, the emerging of an essential, secret inspiration.
" 8 spreads the qi, revealing and externalizing 7. "
And so it is.
I have been seeing the number 12 all over the place in Seattle recently. The number has shape and balance and creates a sense of order and benevolence. How could this be? In Chinese numerology (the study of numbers), numbers fulfill the role of creating an ordered framework around which one can organize one’s thoughts and observations when describing the processes of life.
In the introduction to the main text of The Way of Heaven (pp14-15, The Way of Heaven: Neijing Suwen Chapters 1 and 2, by Claude Larre, Monkey Press 1994 Cambridge, England) the author states that:
1 gives its cohesion to the being and maintains the individual as the unified whole…
1 constantly brings back all that is expressed to the living mystery, which both manifests and does not manifest itself, and whose constancy is in its changing;
2 divides but does not separate…
It gives an account of the proper vitality of the 1. Through 2 one can understand the effect of the couple inherent in 1. For the world to be alive, it must beat. 2 is the beating;
3 does not divide or separate…
From the merging, which is life itself for a couple, 3 is produced. Showing that 2 partners are alive because they compensate one another. And from them is produced a new but similar life.
4 marks the movement of qi in expansion…
In so doing, it defines the set of directions we call space, but it is an expanding space. Like wise 4 presides over the unfolding of the seasons, which everyone knows are just differentiated accumulations of qi. Time is born from this differentiation.
To be continued...(First in a series of 3)
Here in the northern hemisphere we are in the fullness of winter. Three and a half weeks after the Winter Solstice. Spring Festival isn't until February 19th this year, so these are the weeks of Full Winter. When the cold is especially cold. When the wind penetrates even the best-layered clothes. When the sun is slowly starting to creep back up the sky (may your days grow longer!). Time to enjoy warm drinks in cosy settings. Time to get plenty of sleep. Time to prepare oneself for the inevitable coming of Spring. Any last-minute bulbs to plant? Need to move those dormant roses? Plan your summer garden now!