A smaller than usual group of women showed up at Fallbrook Library for the Nov. 3 Woman of Wellness (WOW) program to hear from local acupuncturist Randall Wegener, L., Ac., Dipl. Ac., MSTOM, who talked about “Healing the Modern Woman with Ancient Medicine.”
While they weren’t a large crowd, the ladies were very interested in the subject, asked a lot of questions and learned about the history of acupuncture and how acupuncture and Chinese medicine is treating a number of medical conditions, especially in the area of women’s health.
According to Wegener, acupuncture started 4,000 years old. It originated in India, where someone realized that sticking slivers of stone or bone into different parts of the body would warm it. Text books from 2500 B.C. contain details about acupuncture.
Later on in China, it was found that using needles on different parts of the body corresponded to other points of the patient’s body. They started using metal for needles to bring a sense of balance back to one’s body.
As for his practice, Wegener uses three sizes of metal needles, the longest one being 3″ long but all are very thin. Most of the time, he only needs to insert the needles 1/8″ or ¼” deep for them to help the patient. One of his former patients, who was in the audience, verified that the needles do not hurt.
Wegener calls his needles “healing sticks” to avoid distressing patients who are afraid of needles. He can start with acupressure on those who are scared, he added. He also said he can put herbs on the needles to increase their healing power.
He likes to “teach people to understand who they are and how they created their situation.” He dialogs with them for the first half hour of their first visit to get to know who they are.
Many times “the problem is we don’t breathe, [deeply enough]” he said. Breathing properly is relaxing and beneficial to one’s health. Also, “life is simple if we stay out of our way,” Wegener said because “perception precedes form”, meaning a person’s mind determines their outlook which affects the body’s functions.
As an example of how some organs reflect one’s medical problems, Wegener explained that the condition of the tongue reveals details about the health of various parts of one’s body. The tongue of a healthy person should be light pink; the tip of the tongue correlates to the heart while other parts relate to the kidney, liver, lung and spleen.
To identify the source of symptoms, Wegener looks for signs – does the patient’s tongue fit in her mouth and does it have a coating on it? These details tell him the status of the person’s digestive system he explained.
He added that while raw foods are good for the body, cold foods are difficult for the body to digest. The body needs heat to function.
He also said that the spleen transforms food to nourish the blood and sweetness is the flavor of the spleen while salt is the flavor of the kidneys. Cracks in the tongue indicate dryness in the body so the patient needs to drink more fluids and eat moist foods like pears.
Acupuncture also works well in helping people with addictions including smoking, gambling and alcoholism. The treatment involves harmonizing their organs. “It also works great for hot flashes and night sweats,” Wegener said, by balancing heat with cool energy.
The difference between acupuncture and acupressure, he explained is that with acupressure he can only treat one or two points on someone’s body at a time. With acupuncture, he can treat several points at once. It takes at least 10 to 15 minutes to tonify (rebalance) the parts of the body.
He leaves the needles in for at least 30 minutes so his patients can relax and heal. After a while, heat goes out the bottom of the feet he said. This process balances temperature in the body, clearing the heat if too hot or warming it if it is too cold.
Wegener said he also uses the needles to reset muscles; trauma causes muscles to contract. Sticking the needle, or healing stick, into the muscle resets its neurological connection (with the mind) causing the muscle to relax.
When asked about sleep deprivation, Wegener explained that every organ is active for two hours. The liver is active from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and is affected by repressed emotion, especially anger, causing a person to wake in the middle of the night.
Built up heat in the heart causes agitation which results in nightmares, which also affects how well one sleeps. He then demonstrated some breathing techniques to help with relaxation.
Other uses of acupuncture are to create a facelift, he said, as well as to help chemotherapy patients clear out heat caused by their treatments. Done two to three times a week, acupuncture can prevent hair loss and nausea.
Acupuncture can be done as a preventative measure to keep the patient from getting sick and build their immune system. Getting stressed out weakens one’s immune system and the healing sticks relieve stress.
The Fallbrook Healthcare District hosts the WOW programs and moderator Barbara Mroz had to end the question and answer period due to lack of time rather than lack of questions as the audience found the topic very interesting. There will not be a WOW program in December, so the next one will be Jan. 5.