I know my role. Does your doctor?
You may or may not tell your PCP or other providers on your team that you’re getting acupuncture but I hope you do!
Some patients come to BMA by referral from a doctor, their PCP, an Orthopedist or Gynecologist but many folks come despite their doctor. They may have gotten bad news: surgery or medication is the next step in their treatment plan or that their doctor has no explanation at all for their symptoms. In order to avoid surgery or medication and seeking relief from pain, patients try out “alternative” treatments like acupuncture to avoid having to follow the undesirable guidance of their doctor.
I am in no way against western medical doctors. I refer patients back to their PCPs, GYNs, orthopedists and psychiatrists when I think there’s something that needs that physician’s attention like an acute condition outside of acupuncture’s abilities to effectively treat, unresponsive chronic symptoms or other red flags that might imply an undiagnosed medical condition.
What I am against is Doctors telling patients to avoid mixing acupuncture with Physical Therapy because they think that two modalities work against each other or have adverse effects (not true, in fact they complement each other). I am against doctors recommending surgery, nerve ablation or sedatives without even considering acupuncture because patients have “mysterious” pain that is unresponsive to cortisone shots, 6 sessions of physical therapy, “ignoring it” and ibuprofen.
PTs doing Dry Needling (a form of muscle trigger point needling) frustrates me because because I trained for 2000 hours to be able to needle patients safely and effectively for a wide range of conditions. Physical Therapists get “trained” to dry needle in 30 hours. I would never claim to provide physical therapy and actively refer my patients for PT as a very effective complement to my acupuncture treatments. Don’t you want to know you are receiving quality care from the most informed practitioner?