Jim Galbiati, M.Ac.
Five Element Acupuncture

1350 Pine Street
Suite 3
Boulder, CO 80302

Accident Recovery with Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment for accident recovery typically focuses on three main areas: direct treatment of injured tissue, correction of side-to-side imbalances frequently generated by auto accidents, and constitutional treatment to improve overall vitality and speed recovery.

Direct treatment of injured tissue is used to reduce pain and promote the movement of qi, or vital energy, through the injured area. This might include specific points known to influence tendon, ligament, or bone repair. Heat therapy is often used for soft tissue damage. Acupressure massage can reduce pain, improve circulation, and reduce swelling. Additional points may be added as needed for a specific patient.

Frequently, after an auto accident, side-to- side balance of meridian flow is affected. This is most likely caused by the forces of the accident being concentrated or directed more on one side of the body than the other. This can be measured quite easily using an Akebane test, and corrected, if necessary by stimulating the meridians on the deficient side and/or dispersing the meridians on the excess side. Akebane correction can sometimes yield startling, almost miraculous results.

Constitutional treatment is used to improve overall vitality. The body's own healing abilities can be tapped to speed recovery from an injury. Acupuncture patients often speak of a "feeling of well being" after a treatment. This sensation stems from the body's improved vitality, or energy level. Improved vitality translates directly into faster recovery from an injury, as well as decreased pain and improved function and mobility. Patients often report improvement in symptoms other than that which brought them to treatment. This is a result of the bodies overall improvement in vitality.

Three examples
Lizzy was in a rollover crash as a teenager and suffered a fractured lumbar and ruptured disk. Several years of physical therapy followed, leaving her mostly free from pain, mostly functional, but with an annoying intermittent tingling sensation in her left leg. Akebane testing revealed a severe side-to- side imbalance in her kidney meridian. This was complicated by the fact that, for Lizzy, the kidney meridian was her constitutional root. Treatment strategy was strait-forward: correct the Akebane imbalance and tonify the kidney meridian to improve overall vitality. Within a few months, Lizzy showed dramatic improvement. "This was something I had come to believe I had to live with for the rest of my life" she said.

Every time Paul got in a car, he relived his accident. His heart raced, He broke out in a sweat. He became a tentative and fearful driver. Besides being uncomfortable, he was becoming a dangerous driver, always afraid of being cut off again. One of the many benefits of acupuncture is its ability to calm the spirit. After just a few treatments, Paul began to notice he was less anxious when driving, and less fearful of other drivers. Within a few months, his anxiety had all but disappeared, and he was able to drive as calmly as before his accident.

Within hours after her accident, Maureen felt excruciating pain up and down her back, across her shoulders, and through her neck. She had a constant headache, and she couldn't sleep. Acupuncture provided immediate relief. "That's the first time I've seen you smile since the accident" her daughter said when she got home from her first treatment. Maureen has needed weekly treatments to remain free from pain. She continues to make slow improvement in her overall health, leading me to believe that someday she will not need such frequent treatment.

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