Yesterday, I read an article in MDNews.com that described an extreme medical situation which community acupuncture can prevent. In an article entitled “Is Acupuncture Suitable for My Patient?”, Dr. Shao Chyi Lee, MD/acupuncturist tells of a patient who resorted to invasive brain surgery because he couldn’t afford acupuncture for arm pain. Here is the excerpt from Dr. Lee’s article:
“A man in his 40s presented with a painful, disabled arm from a motor vehicle accident. He described his pain as “constant hot soup,” which continued to burn despite all the strong narcotics, epidural injections and other treatments he had tried. After several sessions of acupuncture, we finally reached a point where his pain was tolerable enough for him to function daily as an office worker. However, this only lasted until he found out that his health insurance no longer covered acupuncture and his next option was to approach a neurosurgeon for a brain implant for adequate pain control. This implant alone cost in excess of $10,000, and the procedure carried much higher medical risks — but the entire procedure was fully covered.”
I am sad that Dr. Lee’s patient had to endure risky and highly invasive brain surgery because affordable acupuncture was either unavailable or unknown to him. One of the reasons sliding-scale community acupuncture clinics exist is to provide effective medical treatment that is both affordable and natural. Had Dr. Lee’s patient sought treatment from one of the approximately 200 community acupuncture clinics in the USA, then he could have been able to receive natural treatment for pain reduction for as long as he needed it. Furthermore, he may have been able to see his arm pain resolve completely if he had such unlimited access to acupuncture treatment rather than having to stop treatments prematurely due to financial limitations. Purple Dragon Healing Arts is very glad to be here in Ballard to offer low-cost acupuncture to our local community. We hope that word will spread to more and more of our Ballard neighbors so that no one will need to resort to invasive or risky surgery when acupuncture could yield the same results. Acupuncture cannot substitute for all types of surgery but it can resolve some health conditions as well as or better than surgery.