Book Eighteen: Acupuncture Physical Medicine

Acupuncture Physical Medicine, Mark Seem

If you're not an acupuncture wonk, then skip over this post, because I'm sure it will be totally uninteresting to you. I read this book for a class I took last weekend taught by Mark Seem. He is the founder of the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York and nationally known for his own distinctive style of using acupuncture, mixed with physical medicine, trigger points, and French and Japanese meridian therapy, to work with complicated conditions. (You can tell I like him because I just described him as if writing a press release. Yay for Mark Seem!) Since graduating from school and becoming a full-fledged acupuncturist, I've kind of been going through a period of disillusionment with my profession. I've felt like it's all a little silly and weird and what good am I doing anyone, anyway? And this class, along with the book, really renewed my interest in the whole thing. I suddenly feel like I have a little spark again and that the three and a half years--not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars--I spent weren't all for naught. Hearing Mark talk about his 20 years of experience in the field and watching him demonstrate his techniques on live patients with very complex conditions, I felt very excited about the possibility of what I can actually do and how much more I have to learn.

What's especially interesting, though, is how much crossover there was between this book and the Sapolsky book I just happened to be reading at the same time. They both talk about stress and its toll on the human body in a way that's eerily similar. Mark Seem doesn't cite Sapolsky at all in his book, but I feel pretty confident that he has read the book or is at least familiar with his research. All weekend at the class I tried to work up the courage to ask him if he was familiar with it and what he thought, but I couldn't come up with a good follow-up question or the best way to phrase it. I'm one of those people who cringe at nearly every question asked of experts or authors and I can't bear the thought of being one of those assholes asking the pompous, self-serving questions. So, I guess I'll never know definitively, but at least I've made the interesting connection and can use the very specific methods detailed in Mark's book to work with people suffering from chronic stress in the way that I know how.


Blogger bellcurves said...

Good luck using the new approaches--your patients will appreciate your openness to trying new techniques/approaches on them! About 5 yrs ago, my 1st acupuncturist initially used Japanese approaches on me. I'm convinced it's one of many things that helped me get to where I am today, and it might be one reason I've been able to avoid some of the scary, toxic anti-rheumatic drugs on the market. As an acupuncture consumer, I LOVE the diversity of approaches that seem to be out there. In fact, you may be interested to know that my aunt studied pharmacology & herbs along w/ Korean hand acupuncture therapy. Fascinating stuff!

August 6, 2007 at 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Terena said...

Great work.

October 28, 2008 at 6:16 PM  

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